The Green Gallery

1960 Richard Bellamy, the former co-director of the artist cooperative Hansa Gallery, was approached by mega-collector Robert Scull who was looking to quietly fund a gallery of his own. With Scull as a silent partner and financial backer, the duo founded the Green Gallery, named to suggest newness, possibility and money. The gallery space on 15 West 57th Street in Manhattan was situated amongst a small number of uptown galleries that were focused on new American art including Leo Castelli and Sidney Janis Gallery. Beginning with their first exhibition, Bellamy sought to give visibility to up and coming artists by hosting their first solo exhibitions or their first uptown shows. The gallery became known for their diverse offerings in the wake of Abstract Expressionism, championing new styles such as Pop Art, Minimalism and Color Field Painting. During its brief run, the Green Gallery showcased the work of countless notable artists including Kenneth Noland, Georg Segal, Donald Judd, Tom Wesselmann and Lucas Samaras. 

The present lot is sold with the original invoice from Green Gallery illustrated here.

Kenneth Noland 1924–2010

Kenneth Noland is regarded as a leading voice in postwar abstraction and is celebrated for his painterly minimalism and pure, exuberant use of color. Noland was born in Asheville, North Carolina in 1924. He described his father, a physician, as a “Sunday painter,” exposing young Noland to painting early in his life. After leaving the Air Force, Noland began his formal art studies at the famed Black Mountain College in 1946, located just twenty miles from where he was born. Under the tutelage of artists such as Willem de Kooning, John Cage, Ilya Bolotowsky and Josef Albers, Noland began creating work with the new avant-garde ideals he was being exposed to. Noland cites Paul Klee, Henri Matisse and Piet Mondrian as early influences, though he would eventually reject the hard-edge geometric ideals of Mondrian. Albers’ theories regarding the interaction of color would form the most lasting influence on Noland’s work.

Noland briefly studied in Paris in 1948 and returned to the United States to teach at various schools in Washington, D.C. While there, Noland developed a close friendship with artist Morris Louis, who, like Noland, was creating paintings outside of the prevailing Abstract Expressionist style. In 1952, along with critic Clement Greenberg, the two visited Helen Frankenthaler’s studio in New York and both were enthralled by Frankenthaler’s technique and use of color. Noland cites this meeting as pivotal to the development of his mature style.

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Auction Results Kenneth Noland