Kenneth Noland was a primary force in the development of postwar abstract art and color field painting.
He attended Black Mountain College in the late forties, exhibiting an early interest in the emotional effects of color and geometric forms. His commitment to line and color can be traced throughout his prolific oeuvre, including his Circle paintings and extending through a visual language of chevrons, diamonds, horizontal bands, plaid patterns, and shaped canvases.
In 1977 a major traveling retrospective of the artist’s work was presented by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. In response, late art critic of The New York Times Hilton Kramer wrote, “An art of this sort places a very heavy burden on the artist’s sensibility for color, of course—on his ability to come up, again and again, with fresh and striking combinations that both capture and sustain our attention, and provide the requisite pleasures…Mr. Noland is unquestionably a master.” The exhibition traveled to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and the Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio, before closing at the Denver Art Museum.