Al Held

American, 1928–2005

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Al Held

American, 1928–2005

2,752
Followers
Biography

After studying in New York and Paris, Al Held began his painting career by exhibiting Abstract Expressionist works in New York; he later turned to hard-edged geometric paintings that were dubbed “concrete abstractions”. In the late 1960s Held began to challenge the flatness he perceived in even the most modernist painting styles, breaking up the picture plane with suggestions of deep space and three-dimensional form; he would later reintroduce eye-popping colors into his canvases. In vast compositions, Held painted geometric forms in space, constituting what have been described as reinterpretations of Cubism. “We’re not going to get rid of chaos and complexity,” Held said, “but we can find a way to live with them.” Despite the clean precision of his forms, Held would begin his paintings with loose improvisation, then erase his re-workings with an electric sander.

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Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
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Solo show at a major institution
MoMA PS1
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Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
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Tate, and 2 more
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Artforum, and 1 more
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documenta, and 1 more
Biography

After studying in New York and Paris, Al Held began his painting career by exhibiting Abstract Expressionist works in New York; he later turned to hard-edged geometric paintings that were dubbed “concrete abstractions”. In the late 1960s Held began to challenge the flatness he perceived in even the most modernist painting styles, breaking up the picture plane with suggestions of deep space and three-dimensional form; he would later reintroduce eye-popping colors into his canvases. In vast compositions, Held painted geometric forms in space, constituting what have been described as reinterpretations of Cubism. “We’re not going to get rid of chaos and complexity,” Held said, “but we can find a way to live with them.” Despite the clean precision of his forms, Held would begin his paintings with loose improvisation, then erase his re-workings with an electric sander.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
MoMA PS1
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 3 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 2 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 1 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
documenta, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Al Held
Articles Featuring Al Held
What Sold at Art Basel in Miami Beach
Dec 9th, 2019
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