Born in 1956 in Washington D.C., Cady Noland is the daughter of Kenneth Noland. After earning her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville, Noland settled in Manhattan.
Cady Noland’s work addresses American mythologies, considering the construction of history and identity coming out of consumer culture and mass media. Noland’s images, taken from tabloids, newspapers, and stock-photo sources, are combined with an array of objects to focus on those moments when a disastrous event becomes a compelling spectacle, when private space is rendered public, when counterculture collides with the mainstream, and when people or objects are transformed into media. In the late 1980s Noland began a series of sculptures and installations examining the masculine underpinnings of the American dream, embodied in men’s beer consumption. Her Crate of Beer (1989) is a wire-mesh basket full of empty Budweiser cans. In her 1989 Untitled installation at the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, Noland stacked six-packs of Budweiser atop one another. Metal scaffolding transformed these mountains of alcohol into a construction site. For the artist, Bud cans are as potent an American symbol as Old Glory, both being red, white, and blue. Flags, too, populate Noland’s work. In The American Trip (1988), Cheap and Fast (1989), and related works, the flag is draped or hung, limp or pierced.
Noland’s work was exhibited in the Whitney Biennial in 1991 and Documenta 9 in Kassel, Germany. She has had several solo exhibitions at Paula Cooper Gallery in New York (1994), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam (1995), and Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, Connecticut (1996).