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Kenneth Noland Biography


Kenneth Noland was a celebrated American painter who was born in 1924 in Northern California and died in 2010 in Maine. After studying at Black Mountain College, he arrived in Paris in 1948, where he studied under Ossip Zadkine for a year.

Back in the USA, he taught at The Institute of Contemporary Art in Washington (1949-1951) and in the early 1980’s, he collaborated on the Wiesner Building project of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology completed in 1985.

Noland is the artist most representative of the artistic movement that, in American painting, deliberates the primacy of colour: colour-field painting. In the 1940s, influenced by Josef Albers, former professor at the Bauhaus, and Ilya Bolotowsky, he shaped his painting style influenced by the theory of colours, geometry and the work of Mondrian.

From the beginning of his work, Noland started painting in cycles and spirals. He thus developed a maximum of possibilities. The circle is the first geometrical structure that inspires his work at the beginning of his artistic career, to be followed by rafters. His work is characterised by a kind of abstract Fauvism. Like Matisse and the Fauves, he built his paintings with flat colours arranged side by side. Moreover, he managed to make his representations more physically independent by ‘sculpting with colour’.

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