Kenneth Noland was an American abstract and minimalist artist working from 1950s to 2010 when he died. He was part of the Color Field movement, a group of artists working in New York who used flat expanses of colour in their work during the 1940s and 50s. These included Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis.

He used thinned paint and let it bleed into the canvas (a technique he’d observed Helen Frankenthaler using) and like to produce compositions that shied away from the edges of the canvas, hence the continuous bullet and target motifs. Eventually he started to make shaped canvases to move away from the square / rectangle. He also liked to leave the canvas bare where no paint was used, revealing the substrate, rather like the make up of areas of white in inkjet printing. By using the paint to stain rather than applying it with a brush he felt that he was removing the role of the artist in painting, which again you can compare to inkjet printing.

His colours change depending on the decade you find the work from. Early works use earth colours and strong hues, later works use pastels. Although an abstract artist he continued to use familiar shapes and forms, often similar to those used in pattern design.

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