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Like 'Gift' (also in this room), 'Drought' belongs to the series of target paintings which Noland executed between 1958 and 1962. 'Drought' is a later work than 'Gift'. Its narrower bands of colour make it less target-like, and they emphasise the effect of rotation which Noland was seeking. This effect is enhanced further by the introduction of irregular staining at the edge of the outer ring. Previously, Abstract Expressionist painters such as de Kooning and Rothko had been seeking to express intensity of feeling in their paintings. In creating an illusion of rotation, 'Drought' demonstrates that the intensity sought by Noland was visual rather than emotive.

September 2004