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Kenneth Noland - Coach Bag With Circle Painting

Coach Tote Bag With Circle Painting 1977, 2002; Serigraph on canvas Coach bag; Stamp signed, dated, and numbered Kenneth Noland 1977, No. 303/500 lower left; Published by Coach Inc.; Framed using an acid-free linen liner, a black wood fillet, and a black wood frame; Size: Image 11 1/2" x 11 1/2"; Bag 15" x 15" x 1"; Frame 20 1/4" x 20 1/4"


Kenneth Noland - Coach Bag With Circle Painting

In October of 1952 Helen Frankenthaler, after a trip to Nova Scotia, had a breakthrough with a painting entitled "Mountains and Sea." The painting was abstract and rather than painting the landscape that she saw on her trip, the work portrayed the experience itself. The abstract image was painted using a "soak stain" technique, whereby unprimed canvas duct is painted using oil paint that had been heavily thinned with turpentine. The effects of the technique reinforced the abstract nature of the landscape painting; and when the artists Kenneth Noland and Morris Louis saw it in her studio in New York, their own painting styles were forever changed.


On the train ride back to Washington DC, Noland and Louis realized that Frankenthaler's painting was their key to finding their own paths. Each made the decision to disregard all his own prior work and begin fresh. Noland stated, "We were interested in Pollock but could gain no lead from him. He was too personal. But Frankenthaler showed us a way - a way to think about and use color." Morris Louis found is structure for his color field paintings first with the unfurl series; and soon after Kennth Noland found his, with the circle paintings. "I knew what a circle could do. Both eyes focus on it. It stamps itself out, like a dot. This, in turn, causes on's vision to spread, as in a mandala in Tantric art," Kenneth Noland.


The circle paintings in the 1960's were Noland's first color format; but would be followed over the years by chevrons, strips, plaids, and irregular paintin series. Noland would return to these early formats in the 1990's using opaque and bold acrylics, however the soak stain technique from the 1960's are by far his greatest achievement.


This very rare serigraph on canvas tote bag (15 х 15 х 1 in. (38.1 x 38.1 x 2.54 cm.) is stamped with Kenneth Noland's signature and date, 1977, and the limited edition of 500 is individually stamped on the front. The work was created in 2002 in an edition of 500, and published by Coach, Inc. The painting used by Noland was created by him in 1977 using his wonderful soak stain technique, and because Coach used this painting to make the bag in 2002; the work is given double dates in the description. The painting is a wonderful circle painting, with a dark brown center target, an unpainted circle composed of unpainted canvas, followed by a rich purple, then another unpainted canvas circle. The outer circle is a classic construct by Noland; such that, the inner aspect of the circle is incomplete, and it's format is maintained by a thin line. The entire composition of the work allows for a brilliant color balanced by form interaction!


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