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Auction: Contemporary Art Evening Sale
was auctioned on: 14 May 2015
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Kenneth Noland

Estimate: US$600,000 - US$800,000
Price realised:  US$605,000
Lot number 42, Views: 28

Kenneth Noland Mysteries: Aglow 2002 acrylic on canvas 72 x 72 in. (182.9 x 182.9 cm) Signed, titled and dated "Kenneth Noland Mysteries, 'Aglow' 2002" on the reverse.
Provenance Paige Rense Noland 2008 Marital Trust Yares Art Projects, Santa Fe Private Collection, Arizona Yares Art Projects, Santa Fe Exhibited New York, Ameringer Howard Yohe Fine Arts Gallery, Kenneth Noland: Colors, April 18 – May 24, 2002 Santa Fe, New Mexico, Yares Art Projects, Kenneth Noland: Full Circle, Paintings 1999-2002, October 5 - December 8, 2012 Literature Kenneth Noland: Colors, exh. cat., Ameringer Howard Yohe Fine Arts Gallery, New York, 2002, p. 19 (illustrated) Kenneth Noland: Full Cricle, Mysteries Series Paintings, 1999-2002, exh. cat., Yares Art Projects, Santa Fe, New Mexico, p. 15 (illustrated) Catalogue Essay “All art that is expressive has to be illusionistic. The raw material out of which art is built is not necessarily in itself potent; you must transform it. Contours, tactility, touch, color, intervals, that’s all part of the concreteness of art. You have to make the concreteness expressive.” Kenneth Noland in conversation with Karen Wilkin, 1986-88 Mysteries: Aglow belongs to the dynamic series of concentric circle paintings by Kenneth Noland first conceived in the 1960s, and revised three-decades later. Completed in his signature abstract style, this energetic work exemplifies the Color Field painter’s evolution within his circular compositions, as well as his remarkable ability to tap into rudimentary emotions through non-objective form. In his 1970 historical account Abstract Expressionism, Irvine Sandler assigned the term “color field painting” to works executed circa 1950 by Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, and Clyfford Still. About ten years later, a more abstract form of Color Field painting developed through the work of Kenneth Noland, Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Alma Thomas, and others. By removing the gestural application and heightened mythology associated with Abstract Expressionism, artists like Noland communicated a remarkable emotional and visual intensity using limited elements. The prominent critic Clement Greenberg wrote of Noland in Art International, “His color counts by its clarity and energy; it is not there neutrally, to be carried by the design and drawing; it does the carrying itself.” (Clement Greenberg, “Louis and Noland,” Art International, May 1960, pp. 94-100) As a World War Two veteran under the G.I. Bill, Noland spent his formative artistic years at the progressive Black Mountain College near his hometown of Asheville, North Carolina. The school stressed self-sufficiency and radical experimental thought through a well-rounded curriculum of academics, arts, and manual labor. There he studied briefly under the tutelage of Josef Albers and then Ilya Bolotowsky, whose style proved more expressive than the famously methodical Albers. Soon after, while teaching at the ICA in Washington, Noland met Greenberg and Helen Frankenthaler, under whose influence he began experimenting with stain technique. Along with Morris Louis, Noland began applying oil paint thinned with turpentine to unprimed canvas, allowing the support’s surface to emerge from beneath. After water-soluble pigments such as acrylic entered the market in the 1960s, artists exercised greater freedom with a medium that could retain its bright quality regardless of a sheer or opaque application. As seen in the present lot, the thin layer of acrylic allows for material and surface to effortlessly merge. This practice diverged from the Abstract Expressionist practice of “all-over” composition and from the desire to represent three-dimensional, representational form. Noland remained fiercely loyal to formalist values, depending on color and composition to underline painting’s two-dimensionality. Toward the end of his academic career at Black Mountain, Noland began to stray from the geometrical abstraction exemplified by Bolotowsky, turning instead to the work of artists in the School of Paris, including Joan Miró. He looked toward Miró’s abstract forms, as well as Pablo Picasso’s neoclassical figures and the s

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Phillips
Title: Contemporary Art Evening Sale
Date of the auction: 14 May 2015
Address: Phillips
New York