Untitled

Kenneth Noland, Flares: Away, 1991, acrylic on canvas on panel, 85-1/8" × 32" × 1-1/4" (216.2 cm × 81.3 cm × 3.2 cm)© The Kenneth Noland Foundation

Curator's Choice

Kenneth Noland

Flares: Away, 1991

By Mark Beasley

Noland’s Flares dismantle (literally) the geometric shapes of his previous paintings and his Chevron, Diamond, and Stripe works. In Flares: Away (1991), two irregularly shaped canvases sit side by side, conjoined. The first vertical flash of crimson red touches gently upon its larger companion, a curved black “anchor” of supportive cloth, stretcher, and acrylic. The coupling is refined, exacting, and elegant like the pant hem of a Saville Row suit as it meets the curve of a classic Brogue. Between the two canvases is a critical space, as important as the “stuff” and matter of the canvases themselves. In short, we are witness to a master of color, space, and connection. Noland, a student at the seminal Black Mountain College, revolutionized the way we view painting, beyond the figurative and toward cool urbane abstraction to be name-checked alongside artists such as Ellsworth Kelly and Ad Reinhardt. To experience the Flares series is to be subject to a controlled riot of color and a community of irregular shapes—no longer confined to the rectangle.

Explore Noland: Flares

Essays — Curator's Choice: Kenneth Noland, Mar 27, 2020