Untitled / Diagonals
unique colored paper pulp and monotype on handmade paper, 1979, signed in pencil and dated on the reverse (twice), with the artist's blindstamp ('KN') in the upper-left corner and annotated in pencil on the reverse with the artist's inventory/reference number "PK-0144"; in very good condition
41 x 27 1/4 inches
provenance: acquired by the previous owner from the curator Kenworth Moffett (author of an early monograph on Noland's work)
Kennneth Noland began to create unique works using paper pulp and handmade paper in the mid to late 1970s, and continued experimenting with the technique well into the 1980s.
The use of paper pulp had become popular with other artists at this time, in particular Ellsworth Kelly and David Hockney, who had been inspired in large part by the work of the master printer Kenneth Tyler, a constant experimenter with new techniques. It allowed the artist to not just draw or paint their design onto a sheet of paper, but have the work be an integral part of the paper itself.
Many of Noland's handmade paper works echo his style of painting from the mid to late 1950s, where acrylic was poured or brushed freely onto unprimed canvas, creating looser works that had a more spontaneous feel than his later hard-edged paintings. The diagonal elements in this work clearly also relate to his well-known diagonal stripe paintings of the early to mid 1960s.
Noland's works on paper have been the subject of individual museum exhibitions, most recently at The Butler Institute of American Art in 2007 ("Kenneth Noland: Works on Paper").