Tuesday Tunes: A Playlist for Kenneth Noland

Taking inspiration from the major theme of music in Ten Americans: After Paul Klee, we paired 11 staff members with 11 works from the exhibition and asked them to respond to create a playlist in response to their individual artwork. Mika Rautiainen, IT Support Specialist, created this playlist in response to Kenneth Noland’s “In the Garden.”

Kenneth Noland, In the Garden, 1952. Oil on hardboard, 19 1/2 x 30 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1952 © Estate of Kenneth Noland/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

My playlist for Kenneth Noland’s In the Garden is fairly short—it’s the EP to the everyone else’s LP, so to speak. I went with my gut, and while some of the songs have more clear word association with the painting, I didn’t particularly look for one, nor did I look for songs of the painting’s time period.

The first three songs came to me immediately—they are what I imagine to be playing inside the painting, eerie yet fairly mellow. The last two songs popped into my mind the second time I looked at it in detail. Why grunge? I don’t know, I’m not really even that big of a fan. I suppose it’s something about the painting’s color and shapes that just scream early ’90s to me.

Mika Rautiainen, IT Support Specialist

Feeling inspired? Create your own playlist based around works in the exhibition and send it to us at communications@phillipscollection.org and we may feature it on our blog and social media.

A Gallery of Color

The Phillips is home to radiant works by the Washington Color School. Don’t miss the gallery featuring brilliant paintings by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, Gene Davis, and Thomas Downing, artist who frequented the museum and were inspired by the American Modernist and French Impressionist works in the galleries. Leo Villareal’s pulsating Scramble offers a contemporary twist to the Color Field canvases.

Washington Color School gallery

Left to right: Grid 31 (1970) by Thomas Downing, April (1960) by Kenneth Noland, Seal (1959) by Morris Louis, Cycle (1960) by Kenneth Noland, Number 182 (1961) by Morris Louis, and Scramble (2011) by Leo Villareal