YARES ART is pleased to present Kenneth Noland: Circles on view in New York, November 11–December 30. The exhibition comprises twenty major works by Kenneth Noland (1924–2010), one of the most important American painters of the post-war era.The paintings on view feature Noland’s best-known motif: the circle, in which concentric forms in rich and varied colors radiate from within each square-format composition. Linking Abstract Expressionist bravura to Color Field luminosity, Noland’s large-scale “Circle” canvases, such as This and That (both 1958–59), Amusement Blues, and Spring Call (both 1961)—included in the current Yares Art exhibition—caused a stir when the artist first introduced them to the art world in the early 1960s. Today, their far-ranging influence continues to resonate in the work of a younger generation of artists, including Ugo Rondinone, Anslem Reyle, among numerous others.
Noland himself revisited the circle motif in the late 1990s, producing a series of relatively intimate hard-edge compositions with vibrant concentric circles, and heightened color relationships, often employing iridescent hues. This exhibition offers a rare opportunity to compare and contrast Noland’s first landmark series of “Circle” paintings with his last brilliant treatment of this theme. Recent examples from the “Mysteries” series, including Mysteries: Ice Fire (2000), and Mysteries: Moonlit (2001), are among the highlights of the exhibition.
Noland was born on April 10, 1924, in Asheville, North Carolina. In his early teens, he visited Washington D.C. with his father, and was inspired by the astonishing holdings of the National Gallery of Art, which led to his pursuit of painting. After serving in the Air Force during WWII, Noland enrolled in Black Mountain College, from 1946–48, where he studied with Ilya Bolotowsky, John Cage, and Josef Albers. After two years at the school, he relocated to Paris, where he studied with Ossip Zadkine. He held his first solo show in Paris in 1949 at the Galerie Creuze. He moved back to the U.S. the following year and took night classes at Washington [D.C.] Workshop Center for the Arts, where he befriended Morris Louis, an instructor there. Noland soon became associated with the Washington Color School, which included Louis, Gene Davis, and Thomas Downing. In 1953, Noland visited the New York studio of Helen Frankenthaler, then twenty-four years old, and was greatly impressed with the pouring and staining technique she pioneered. He later moved to New York, where he lived from 1961 to 1963, then in South Shaftesbury, Vermont until 1979, when he settled in South Salem, New York.
As a result of the acclaim Noland garnered from the “Circle” series, he was catapulted to art-world prominence by the early 1960s, and he quickly established an international reputation. He was one of the artists selected to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1964, along with Morris Louis. Throughout the 1960s, and in subsequent decades, Noland exhibited at some of the world’s most prestigious galleries. New York’s Guggenheim Museum mounted a major survey of his work that opened in April of 1977, and traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Toledo Museum of Art. His work is included in many major museum collections throughout the world, among them: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; and the Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark.
Kenneth Noland: Circles is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Karen Wilkin.