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Breath

Artist
Kenneth Noland, American, 1924–2010
Date
1959
Material
Acrylic on canvas
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
Not on view
Dimensions
66 1/8 x 65 3/16 in. (168 x 165.6 cm)
framed: 66 7/8 x 65 7/8 in. (169.9 x 167.3 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer Jr.
Rights
© 2020 The Kenneth Noland Foundation / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY
Object Number
262:1982
NOTES
A freely painted area of sky blue surrounds green and gold concentric rings and a solid blue circle at center. The edge of the outer blue area appears to undulate, creating the effect of counterclockwise rotation. Kenneth Noland produced his characteristic target-like format by staining thinned paint directly onto raw, unprimed canvas, leaving some areas unpainted. The gestural perimeter of blue contrasts with the meticulously painted circular rings.
1959
French & Company, New York, NY, USA [1]

1959 - c.1961
David Gibbs, London, England, purchased from French & Company [2]

c.1961 - 1974
John Kasmin and Lord Dufferin and Ava, London, England, purchased from David Gibbs [3]

1974
Joseph Helman, St. Louis, MO, USA, purchased from Kasmin Limited

1974 - 1982
Emily Rauh Pulitzer and Joseph Pulitzer Jr., St. Louis, MO, purchased from Joseph Helman

1982 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, given by Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Pulitzer Jr. [4]


Notes:
The main source of this provenance is Rudenstine's "Modern Painting, Drawing and Sculpture Collected by Emily and Joseph Pulitzer Jr." [Rudenstine, Angelica Zander. "Modern Painting, Drawing and Sculpture Collected by Emily and Joseph Pulitzer Jr...” Vol. 4, Cambridge: Harvard University Art Museums, 1988]. Exceptions and other documents are noted.

[1] Appears in French & Company exhibition catalogue of 1959 ["Kenneth Noland: Paintings." New York: French and Company, Inc., October 1959, cat. no. 5].

[2] In November 1961, an article published in "Apollo" attributed ownership of Noland's "Breath" to the New London Gallery, London, England [Reichardt, Jasia."Modern Art in London." "Apollo" 75 (November 1961): 157]. Because this conflicts with the Rudenstine catalogue provenance, the nature of the New London Gallery's interest in the painting is unclear.

[3] According to Rudenstine's catalogue, Kasmin purchased the painting with funds from his partner, Lord Dufferin and Ava. However it seems Kasmin continued to handle the painting and he sold it to Joseph Helman in 1974. Kasmin's possession of the piece is confirmed in a 1973 brochure for an exhibition at Kasmin Limited (of which Kasmin was the proprieter) entitled "Kenneth Noland: Paintings 1959-62"; 262:1982 is illustrated on the cover of the brochure. An article published in the summer of 1973 confirms that Lord Dufferin had a continuing interest in the painting [Moffett, Kenworth. "Noland." "Art International" 17, (summer 1973): 23].

[4] Deed of gift, December 13, 1982 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Aquisitions and Loans Committee of the Board of Trustees, Saint Louis Art Museum, December 17, 1982.
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