Kenneth Noland American

Not on view

October belongs to the first of Noland’s two extended explorations of the elemental shape of the circle. Placing the large canvas on his studio’s floor (in knowing emulation of Jackson Pollock’s method), he drew the edge of each circle with a pencil attached to a string and anchored in the center. The canvas’s dimensions determined the size of the outermost circle, suggesting Noland’s preoccupation with proportional relationships, a concern often associated with Minimalism. The painter accentuated the flatness of the unprimed canvas by diluting his acrylic paint so the weave would absorb it (a technique he adopted after seeing Helen Frankenthaler’s stained canvases). The concentric circles evoke a range of associations—a bull’s-eye, a globe, a giant eyeball—while the density near the center suggests a gravitational pull.

October, Kenneth Noland (American, Asheville, North Carolina 1924–2010 Port Clyde, Maine), Acrylic on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.