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  • Provenance

    Ameringer Howard Gallery, New York; M. Knoedler & Co., New York; Ameringer Howard Fine Art, New York; Collection of Steven and Susan Jacobson

  • Catalogue Essay

    The late Kenneth Noland, who died of cancer on the 5th of January this year, will enter the art historical canon for his groundbreaking Colour Field paintings characterised by large expanses of colour painted, stained or poured on canvas. The idea behind this bold oeuvre is to remove attention from the artist’s personal creative acts, the brushstrokes, and instead emphasise the image’s pure visual presence. Educated at the famed Black Mountain College and influential in the Minimalist movement, Noland’s canvases carry a romantic brilliance. The present lot comes from a recent body of work entitled Mysteries in which Noland revisits his most famous motif: the circle or target.
    “The Mysteries mark a return to a centered image of nested circles. Like the original Circles of the late 50s and early 60s, they’re thinly painted, but the paint application and consequent color feeling are substantially different. They’re blatantly evocative. Crisp edged circles amidst misty, amorphous penumbras recall eclipses, full moons, hazy suns. The interactive rippling rhythms of the early Circles have given way to radiance, effulgence, expansion. The Mysteries have taken on a greater amount of evocation than has been present in Noland’s art since his first Circles, surrounded by painterly penumbras, of the late 50s. It’s as if abstraction per se no longer matters, is no longer something to be avoided. Still, the Noland of taut, eloquent formats remains. Where the penumbras of the early Circles were actively and splashily drawn, in Mysteries they’re blurred and hazy, fading as they expand. The crisply-drawn circles within them pin down the illusion in concert with the crisp framing edge of the square canvas. In effect the amorphousness of the penumbra is contained and pictorialized by both center and edge. These paintings have nothing to prove. Among the most serene paintings that Noland has made, they’re pared down, simple, essentially beautiful.”
    (Terry Fenton, Appreciating Noland: Mysteries, 2001)


Mysteries, Amidst

Acrylic on canvas.
91.4 x 91.4 cm. (36 x 36 in).

Signed, titled and dated 'Kenneth Noland Mysteries, Amidst 1999' on the reverse.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Sold for £97,250

Contemporary Art Evening

12 Feb 2010