Inspired by Frankenthaler, the three painters shared an approach to applying thinned paint to raw canvas. The moment dye touched the porous fabric surface, it could not be altered or edited—the gesture was immediately fixed. In this way, Noland dubbed his works “one-shot” paintings (if he made a mistake, the entire canvas would be discarded). Noland’s description would go on to carry particular significance after he exhibited his first major series—the concentric circle or “Target” paintings. These established Noland’s signature aesthetic: one of geometric forms that nestle alongside each other, radiating energy from undulating edges and unexpected color pairings.
The Cardi Gallery exhibition includes one small but powerful concentric circle that feels like the molten core of the show—and of Noland’s body of work as a whole. From its deep red, bullseye center unfold a selection of works from Noland’s other best-known series: his “Stripes,” “Plaid,” and “Shaped Canvas” paintings.