EXPIRED: 01/05/10 – Kenneth Noland, 85, was an great artist who was born in Asheville, North Carolina and entered into the critical art world after serving in World War II.

He was extremely talented but he wasn’t the critic’s darling and was overshadowed by more complex artists of his time. Many simply couldn’t see the complexity in his simplicity and discounted his abstract expressionist style, called Color Field painting, as a passing fancy of the late 50’s and 60’s. But it stands the test of time.

Color Field is characterized by large swaths of color either painted, stained or poured on canvas. Some of Noland’s best-known works featured bold circles and other shapes.

But his greatest innovation remains his use of shaped canvases. He disregarded the traditional square canvas and built them into triangles, diamonds, and polygons, instead. Back in the 50’s this was groundbreaking stuff. Many other artists have copied the trend since, literally adding a whole new dimension to art, and we have Noland to thank for it. As with the simple geometric patterns he painted, Noland’s very simple use of shapes other than squares and rectangles left a very complex mark on modern art as we know it today.

So although you may not know his name, once you see a work by Noland, and get to know it, you’ll easily recognize others.

Get a first hand look. His works are displayed in museums around the world including the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Boston Museum of Fine Art and the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland, Maine.

For those of you in NYC, his final show at the Leslie Feely Fine Art Gallery on E.68th St. is extended til January 16th.



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