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About Al Held

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.

American, 1928-2005, New York, New York

Exhibition Highlights On Artsy

2016
Summer Choices: A Group Exhibition, Crown Point Press, San Francisco
2015
Summer Choices, Crown Point Press, San Francisco
2013
Alphabet Paintings, Cheim & Read, New York