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IN THE "PLAIDS" (1971-74) horizontal and vertical bands and stripes interpenetrate. At first these were an extension of the stripe paintings, especially the last ones in which panels of color were sandwiched between clusters of narrow stripes. In the early plaids these stripes at top and bottom were transferred to the vertical. Later they came to intersect at intervals throughout the surface instead of just at the edges.
The "plaids" were the first of Noland's mature paintings to attempt the overlapping of colors and his first attempt at painterly painting. Here, for the first time, color crosses over color -- at this time in thin washes. While this produced many beauties, paint materials weren't yet ready to provide the complexity Noland came to explore in his second series of "chevrons" of the '80s.