Tuesday, January 05, 2010

From the Dust of Stars: Kenneth Noland (1924 - 2010)


Kenneth Noland (1924 -2010)
Spread
117" x 117" oil on canvas 1958
Gift of William S. Rubin, Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection.
© Kenneth Noland / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
From the exhibition “New York Cool” held at the Museum of Art, Brunswick
photo by Tommy Wilcox for The Bowdoin Orient

"Mr. Noland’s signature motif was a radiant target made of rings of pure color strained directly on raw canvas, with that canvas contributing a wonderful sense of breathing room between each band of color. The power of the colors, their often discordant interaction and the expanding and contracting rhythms of the bands of paint and the raw canvas, could be stunningly direct and vibrant."
- Roberta Smith on Kenneth Noland.

"But beautiful ideas are rarely entirely wrong, and something close to Lorentz’s idea is embodied in modern QCD. Quarks carry color charge, and generate color electric fields analogous to the ordinary electric fields around electrons. The potentially diverging energy of color electric fields close to the quark is removed by quantum mechanics, just as for ordinary electric fields around electrons. But unlike ordinary electric fields, color electric fields do not automatically fall off rapidly far from their source. Indeed, the color electric field energy generated by an isolated quark is calculated to be truly infinite, due to the energy it creates in distant fields."
From Mass without Mass I: Most of Matter
- Frank Wilczek

Color Field is a term used to describe the atmospheric paintings of Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis as well as properties of quarks in quantum physics. Kenneth Noland's seemingly simple forms are not firm solids but instead are constructed of shimmering veils of moving color. Conceived at the height of the Cold War when the destructive power of atomic weapons was common dinner time conversation, Kenneth Noland's work seems informed by discussion of the properties of physics. Noland's work is beautiful and questioning and seems to validate that all things are made out of the dust of stars.


Kenneth Noland (1924 -2010)
Spread
117" x 117" oil on canvas 1958
Gift of William S. Rubin, Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection.
© Kenneth Noland / Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

More at:
Roberta Smith in the New York Times on Kenneth Noland's Death
Kenneth Noland's Website
Mass without Mass I: Most of Matter
Azimuthal Charged-Particle Correlations and Possible Local Strong Parity Violation


Illustration: Carin Cain

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