Kenneth Noland, “Tropical Zone”, 1964. Acrylic on canvas. Gift of the artist in honor of Peter C. Marzio, 2005.159.
|The New York Times has reported that American color field artist
Kenneth Noland has died at the age of 85. The artist’s wife, Paige Rense, told the New York Times that the cause of death was cancer.
Noland was born in Asheville, North Carolina. A veteran of World War II he joined the U.S. Air Force in 1942. After his discharge four years later, Noland took advantage of the G.I. Bill to study art at Black Mountain College in his home state of North Carolina. Noland attended the experimental Black Mountain College and he studied with professor Ilya Bolotowsky who introduced him to Neo-plasticism and the work of Piet Mondrian. There he also studied Bauhaus theory and color with Josef Albers and he became interested in Paul Klee, specifically his sensitivity to color. In 1948 and 1949 he worked with Ossip Zadkine in Paris, and in the early 1950s met Morris Louis in Washington DC. He became friends with Louis, and after seeing Helen Frankenthaler’s new paintings at her studio in New York City in 1953 they adopted her “soak-stain” technique of allowing thinned paint to soak into unprimed canvases. (…