Kenneth Noland (b. 1924, Ashville, NC; d. 2010 Port Clyde, ME) studied at Black Mountain College on the G.I. Bill after serving during World War II. At the college he studied with Josef Albers and Ilya Bolotowsky. Noland arrived in DC in 1949 and began studying with Robin Bond at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. By 1953 he was teaching at the Washington Workshop Center for the Arts, as well as teaching and managing the art gallery at Catholic University; among his students were Thomas Downing and Howard Mehring, both of whom later joined the Jefferson Place Gallery in 1960 (after their joint cooperative venture, The Origo, was shuttered by the city).
At the time Noland joined the Jefferson Place, his painting was in transition away from his experiments with pouring, dripping, and slashing marks of paint, and moving toward his big break-through of target paintings, which began with soft circles on smaller canvases, gradually getting bigger. At the same time, thanks in part to his association with Clement Greenberg, his work was gaining a foothold into the New York scene, with exhibits at Tibor de Nagy in 1957, French & Co. in 1959, and eventually Andre Emmerich. By 1962 he had severed ties with the gallery and was living in New York, eventually moving to Vermont the following year.
1958—Jan. 30—Feb. 22
1957—First Group Show, Oct. 10—Nov. 9
1957—Christmas Show, Dec. 9—Jan4, 1958
1958—The Group +2, May 20—June 17
1958—12 Washington Artists, University of Kentucky, Oct. 19—Nov. 16
1958—Christmas Show, Nov. 25—Dec. 31
1959—Member’s Show, April 21—May 2
1959—Approaches to Contemporary Painting, Sept. 22—Oct. 10
1959—Christmas Show, Dec. 15—Jan. 2
1960—End of Year Review, May 17—June 11
1961—Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, PA, October 27—Jan 7, 1962
1968—Jefferson Place Ten Years, July 16–Aug. 7