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Yares Art is pleased to present Kenneth Noland: Context is the Key, Paintings: 1968-1970, an exhibition of more than thirty works by one of the twentieth century’s most radical and influential American painters. The show focuses on abstract compositions that Noland produced from 1958 to 1970, which had a significant impact on the course of contemporary art. These compositions with bold, spare, captivating forms and sumptuous color relationships, emphasize the objecthood of the artwork and the flatness of the picture plane. At the time they were painted, Noland’s artworks were viewed as surprising and daring. Now widely acknowledged as classics of post-war abstraction, they are still as audacious and imposing as ever—and their influence may be observed today in the work of younger generations of artists.

Among the highlights of the show are examples of Noland’s most appreciated series of early large-scale works, including the Circles, Chevrons, Diamonds, and Stripes. Fete (1959), one of the artist's most iconic Circles, is composed of a precisely executed blue dot inside concentric bands of poured and splashed blue, yellow, and black paint emanating from hard-edge inner circles of white and blue. Pierced along the outer edge are five irregular, diagonal black lines. The work effectively bridges Abstract Expressionism with the then-nascent Color Field movement in painting, of which Noland was a principal leader. Half Time (1964), one of the artist's seminal Chevron paintings, depicts a green triangle and equivalent bands of purple, brown, red, and orange pressing from the top center toward the bottom of a blaring white field. The stark composition corresponds to the Minimalist aesthetic in avant-garde painting of the time.

Noland’s passion, however, lay in the various ways color can activate the surface of the canvas, even in its most lightly nuanced manifestations, as in the diamond-shaped canvas Datum (1966) with its four diagonal bands of analogous tones of blues and gray-greens. Five richly colored horizontal bands of equal proportions - with one extremely thin, almost silent band atop, stretching the entire length of Via Bound (1970) suggest a landscape reference within the abstract visual vocabulary that is unique to Noland.

Kenneth Clifton Noland was born in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1924. After serving in the Army Air Forces, he enrolled in the fabled Black Mountain College, where he studied with Bauhaus maestro Josef Albers, abstractionist Ilya Bolotowsky, architect Buckminster Fuller, and composer John Cage. Noland’s first New York solo show was held at the Tibor de Nagy gallery in 1957. Since then, his work has been the subject of numerous gallery and museum solo exhibitions worldwide. He died, age 85, at his home in Port Clyde, Maine, in 2010.

Noland participated in the 1964 Venice Biennale, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, hosted his first retrospective in 1977, which traveled to the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, and the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio.

His work is included in many of the world’s most prestigious museums, including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Art Institute of Chicago; Australian National Gallery, Canberra; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Kunstmuseum, Basel; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Tate Gallery, London; and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, among numerous others.
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