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Collection > Kenneth Noland >

Untitled (Target)


  • Medium

    Acrylic on canvas

  • Dimensions

    90 x 94 in. (228.6 x 238.8 cm)

  • Credit

    Collection of Lenore S. and Bernard A. Greenberg
    Partial gift to The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

  • Accession number


  • Object label

    Kenneth Noland’s Untitled (Target) manages to suspend the contradiction between literal flatness and illusionary space. His staining technique—letting thinned paints soak into unprimed canvas—unites the pigment and its fabric support, thereby acknowledging the unavoidable fact of painting’s flatness. By the same token, since the paint is so diluted, the canvas itself seems to be generating expansive, luminous color. The rings appear to pulsate, advancing and receding, dilating and contracting. Contrasting colors are essential to the optical illusion of movement. For example, though the three bands of pink are identical in hue, they take on different intensities, and the appearance of different depths, due to the proximity of other colors. The target, having no up or down, right or left, or other orientation, seems to float weightlessly despite its rigorously flat geometry.

    Noland studied at Black Mountain College from 1946 to 1948.