IN THE "PLAIDS" of 1971-74,
horizontal and vertical bands and stripes interlaced. At first
these were an extension of the stripe paintings, especially the
later 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 also 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 obvious attempt at painterly painting. Here, for the first time, color crossed over color -- albeit in thin washes. This produced many beauties, but paint materials weren't yet ready to provide the complexity Noland came to explore in his second series of "Chevrons" of the '80s.