Tom Moody doesn’t find Roberta Smith’s obituary for Kenneth Noland particularly complimentary. “Perhaps to his detriment, Mr. Noland was ardently loyal to his formalist principles” writes Smith, a line Moody describes over Twitter as an “unelaborated jab”. He’s probably right to point out that her write-up isn’t fair — the guy was a color field painter, of course he’s “ardently loyal” to formalism — though I wonder if her words are just another indication that The Times is short staffed. After all, if you’re working with a writer who’s only got “When he was good he was excellent” in their nice-things-to-say-about-dead-artists arsenal, you usually enlist someone else.
The Times had William Grimes write the full obituary.