Kenneth Noland was born in Asheville, North Carolina, in 1924. He studied under Ossip Zapkine in Paris, in 1948–49, and then lived in Washington, D.C., where he taught at various institutions over a ten-year period. He finally moved to New York in 1961. From 1961 to 1973, his paintings were featured in nine annual exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
The 1964 exhibition “Post-painterly Abstraction,” curated in Los Angeles by Clement Greenberg, featured some of his works. This group show toured around the United States, and helped to establish Color Field painting as an important movement in 1960s contemporary art. Noland’s first retrospective exhibition was held at the Jewish Museum in New York the same year.
Most of Noland’s works fall into one of four groupings: circles (or targets), chevrons, stripes, and shaped canvases. Horizontal Stripes I-18 is part of one of five series of works completed over the course of the Handmade Paper Project, in which Noland spent several months at the Tyler Graphics paper-mill workshop designed and completed in 1978 by owner Kenneth E. Tyler. Each Horizontal Stripes work is unique, and is grouped under one of seven sub-series numbered I to VII.
“Noland experimented with colors and textures, mixing pulp slurries with a variety of pigments and dyes. He often added bits of colored paper, wool and silk thread to the pulp and placed bits of material on the couched and applied layers.” —Tyler Graphics: Catalogue Raisonné, 1974–1985