New Day is one of a series of horizontal stripe paintings that Kenneth Noland began in 1967. Prior to this series of works, Noland applied color bands in various geometric motifs—including concentric circles and chevrons—on square canvases. Eventually he began to experiment with irregularly and asymmetrically shaped canvases, which allowed him to eliminate the expanses of bare canvas that arose as he depicted his motifs on a traditional structure. Ultimately, however, he came to regard these geometric forms as too assertive, detracting from his desire to emphasize only color as subject matter. Noland’s search for a more neutral shape led him back to the rectangular canvas format of New Day. Like the other works he began in this period, this large canvas is almost double in length than width, enveloping the viewer. The work is composed entirely of horizontal bands of pure and varied color, which Noland achieved by using tape to obtain a straight edge. Unchecked at the ends of the canvas, the stripes carry the viewer’s eyes back and forth across the surface. Using only the color stripe, Noland suggests both an optical and psychological sensation of dynamic movement, conveying the impression that the color could continue indefinitely.
Acrylic on canvas
Overall: 89 3/8 × 184 1/4 in. (227 × 468 cm)
Rights and reproductions information
© Estate of Kenneth Noland / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York