Kenneth Noland

Spread, 1958

Image for Spread, 1958

After serving as a pilot and cryptographer in World War II, Kenneth Noland studied painting at Black Mountain College, an ultra-progressive school boasting faculty members Josef Albers, Ilya Bolotowsky, and Willem de Kooning, as well as students Robert Rauschenberg, Dorothea Rockburne, and Kenneth Snelson, among others.
Following a visit to Helen Frankenthaler’s New York studio in 1953, Noland began staining his raw canvases directly with oil pigments, so that they retained the luminousness and translucency of watercolor. Painted in the late 1950s, Spread demonstrates Noland’s achievement of a distinctly personal style based on concentric circular bands in unpredictable sequences of highly saturated colors. In Spread, the hard-edged inner rings become increasingly painterly as they expand from the center—until the outermost band threatens to spin off into space, as if propelled by centrifugal force.

Medium Oil on canvas
Credit Line Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection
Donor Gift of William S. Rubin
Object ID 1964.2

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Collection Years: 1958