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Mondrian, Newman, Noland: Two Notes on Changes of Style

THE TWO UNEQUAL NOTES WHICH COMPRISE this article approach differently the issue of changes of style. The first inquires whether Mondrian’s established drawing style was incompatible with his late ambitions. The second looks at Newman and Noland and asks to what extent Noland’s recent work represents an important break with his earlier position. And if these two parts form a whole it is only because they share the common subject of change. I do not seek to imply any correspondence between Mondrian’s and Noland’s styles—despite certain visible similarities. By way of a preface we need first to consider, if only briefly, something of the problem of “visible similarities” in Cubist art, and of the “conventional” impact of a Cubist grid structure, since the visible presence of grids in Noland’s paintings raises certain special issues best cleared up before we properly begin.

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