Kenneth Noland - Immingle
Acrylic on canvas. 250 x 270 cm. Framed in studio frame. Signed, dated, and titled 'IMMINGLE 1976 Kenneth Noland' (twice) verso on stretcher and with dimensions, directional arrows and hanging sketch. - Minor traces of age.
Piet Mondrian's strong geometrical compositions, the vibratory colouration in the works of Henri Matisse and the poetically delicate, half-abstract paintings by Paul Klee - artists he explored during his studies and stay in Paris - can all be classed as Kenneth Noland's most important sources of inspiration. A visit to Helen Frankenthaler studio in 1953 was a decisive moment for him, technically; he adopted her technique of applying thin paint to unprimed canvas, so that transparent, irregular structures emerge. In 1958, Noland took a new direction with his circle pictures, one that would be groundbreaking for him. The concentric circles are at times clearly separate from each other, while others show a free, gestural colour application. The turn to the chevron, wedge-shaped beams, marked the start of his straight-edge paintings in his work of the early 1960s. The compositions move away from the originally perfect balance within a square picture ground, allowing the forms to sprawl out more freely. For the first time, Noland uses shaped canvases - diamond and lozenge shapes, which accomodate the painted wedge shapes. From 1966, after the early freehand-painted forms in the striped picture group, he came upon sharply drawn contours and experimented now with various thick or thin applications of paint, in order to vary the optical presence of the colour. The stripe pictures, some exhibiting extreme horizontal formats, are created from large canvas strips painted on the studio floor, which the artist then trims in order to discover the final composition for the respective work. He also uses this process in the completely irregular picture formats he created from the mid-1970s, to which the present work "Inmingle" also belongs. Just a few years earlier, Noland had worked sculpturally for the first time. His experience with asymetrical, three-dimensional forms probably give the deciding impulse to disengage himself from the area of traditional picture-format painting , which Noland had long regarded as constricting. "Inmingle" is dominated by a warm brown which is given a delicate, lively structure by the thin paint on the unprimed canvas. It forms, so to speak, the base for the light stripes that cut through the outer areas of the picture surface like rays. They balance the composition optically and lend the work an extraordinary lightness.
"Noland's search for the ideal Platonic form has crystallized into an art in which color and form are held in perfect equilibrium. The spare geometry of his form heightens the emotional impact of his color. The rational and the felt, distilled form and sensuous color intermesh to create a magic presence.” (Diane Waldman, in: Kenneth Noland. A Retrospective, exhib.cat. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York 1977, p.36).
Galerie Wentzel, Hamburg (label verso); Corporate Collection, Rhineland