Asheville native and Color Field artist Kenneth Noland dies

Asheville native Kenneth Noland, known for his work in the postwar-American abstract style Color Field, died yesterday at his home in Port Clyde, Maine. He was 85 year old.

The obituary in New York Times’ ArtsBeat reads, “Born in Asheville, N.C., in 1924, he studied art at the adventurous, short-lived Black Mountain College (conveniently located just outside his hometown) from 1946 to 1948, was inspired by the stain-painting technique that Helen Frankenthaler deducted from Jackson Pollock’s drips, and had his first exhibition in New York in 1957, at the Tibor de Nagy Gallery.” Reda the full story here

Split, 1959

In a separate article, The New York Times explains, “Mr. Noland arrived on the scene in the immediate aftermath of Abstract Expressionism. A student of the geometric abstractionists Josef Albers and Ilya Bolotowsky, he found his way toward geometric forms that served as vessels for vibrant washes of color stained into the canvas. In successive series of paintings, he introduced subtle changes into geometric forms that evolved from circles, chevrons, stripes and diamonds and back again to the circle late in his career.” Read the full story here

Cadmium Radiance, 1963

According to the Asheville Citizen-Times, “The Asheville Art Museum has three of his paintings and a number of drawings in its permanent collection, and it hosted an exhibit of his work in the 1980s.” And, according to former Citizen-Times reporter Bob Godfrey, “The Asheville environment of Noland’s youth played a key role in his development … His mother was a supervisor of a jazz club in town, and Noland enrolled at … Black Mountain College to pursue music.”

Flares-Gentle Curves, 1990

The article also notes that Xpress contributor Connie Bostic hosted “an exhibit of Noland’s lesser-known ceramic works at her Zone one contemporary gallery” during the 1990s. Read the full story here.

Noland will be laid to rest at the Riverside Cemetery. Read a chronology of his life and work here. Visit his website and view works here.

—Alli Marshall, A&E reporter

About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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