Al Held  (American, 1928-2005) 

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Al Held (American, 1928–2005) was a leading artist working with hard edge abstraction, drawing from traditions spanning Abstract Expressionism to Cubism. Born in New York, Held studied at the Art Students League, and in 1949 went to Paris to study art at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière under sculptor Ossip Zadkine (French/Russian, 1890–1967). When Held returned to New York, his work began to reflect his interactions with the gestural paintings of Abstract Expressionist artists, as he used more animated brushstrokes and muted colors. Later, he began painting works somewhat reactionary to this aesthetic, using bold lines, colors, and stark geometric shapes in large, commanding pieces that associated him with a group of Abstract Expressionists using hard edge abstraction. Held's works from this period also feature interlocking letters of the alphabet in complex, structured compositions, many of which were in black and white. He received great acclaim for this work and in the late 1960s, began creating compositions with interwoven solids and planes, often resembling molecular or planetary forms, that create a receding depth into the painting itself.

In the 1980s, he settled in Italy, and his pieces increasingly featured curved lines, arabesques, and other forms reflecting the influence of the country's Renaissance and baroque architecture on his work. Held was a professor of art at Yale University from 1962 to 1980, and towards the end of his life painted large murals, such as a mural commission for the New York City subway system. His work has been exhibited at institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Steledjik Museum in Amsterdam, and galleries in Zurich, Berlin, and other cities throughout the world. He died in 2005 at his home in Italy.

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Artworks for sale (25)

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Al Held, Russel's Way

 

Al Held
Russel's Way
1989

Auction: May 15, 2014
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
View Details | entire auction
Al Held, Untitled

 

Al Held
Untitled
2005

Peyton Wright Gallery
Al Held, 67-B13

 

Al Held
67-B13
1967

Amy Simon Fine Art
Al Held, 65-A17

 

Al Held
65-A17
1965

Amy Simon Fine Art
Al Held, 65-A5

 

Al Held
65-A5
1965

Amy Simon Fine Art
Al Held, 60-26

 

Al Held
60-26
1960

Van Doren Waxter
Al Held, 67-B21

 

Al Held
67-B21
1967

Amy Simon Fine Art
Al Held, 65-A2

 

Al Held
65-A2
1965

Amy Simon Fine Art
Al Held, 67-B17

 

Al Held
67-B17
1967

Amy Simon Fine Art
Past auction results (398)  View All
Al Held, Untitled

 

Al Held
Untitled, 1960
acrylic on paper laid on board

 

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Al Held, Untitled

 

Al Held
Untitled, 1960
acrylic on paper laid on board

 

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Al Held, #2-60

 

Al Held
#2-60, 1960
acrylic on paper laid on board

 

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1928   Born: in New York, NY
1947   Studied at the Art Students League, New York, NY
1949   Studied at the Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, France
1962   Associate Professor at Yale University, New Haven, CT
2005   Died: in Camareta, Italy
2013   Al Held: Alphabet Paintings - Cheim & Read, New York City, NY
2012   Black and White 1967 - Loretta Howard Gallery, New York City, NY
Post War American Art - David Klein Gallery, Birmingham, MI
2011   Al Held - Paintings 1959 - Craig F. Starr Gallery, New York City, NY
Contemporary Drawings from the Irving Stenn Jr. Collection - The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
2010   Al Held: Selected Works, Marianne Friedland Gallery, Naples, FL (solo)
Big is Better, Wright Exhibition Space, Seattle, WA (solo)
Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s , San Antonio Museum of Art, TX (solo)
2008 - 2009   Al Held: Paintings 1979-1985, Paul Kasim Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2006   In memory of Al Held, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland (solo)
Berlin-Tokyo/Tokyo-Berlin. Die Kunst zweier Städte, Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, Germany
2005   Outside Europe: Aus der Sammlung Daimler Chrysler, DaimlerChrysler Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
2004   Kleinformate und Originalgraphik, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland
Minimalism and After III: Neuerwerbungen / New Aquisitions, DaimlerChrysler Contemporary, Berlin, Germany
Under $2,000 Albers < Zaugg, Brooke Alexander Editions, New York, NY
2003   Painting Explosion: 1958-1963, Part I, Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX
2002   Al Held & George Sugarman: The Early Sixties, Joan T. Washburn Gallery, New York, NY
2001   Au rendez-vous des amis (La ligne seule) 2, Musée d´art moderne et contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland
A defining generation. Then and Now. 1961 and 2001, The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA
Early Modern Art, The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA
1999   Alchemies of the Sixties. From the Rose Art Museum Permanent Collection, The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA
Abstractions Americaines 1940-1960, Musee Fabre, Montpellier, France
1998   Al Held Unfolding, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
1997   Abstract Expressionism in the United States, Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo, Mexico City, Mexico
1996   Thinking Print: Books to Billboards, 1980-1995, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
1992   Contemporary American Painting & Sculpture, American Embassy, Tel Aviv, Israel
Al Held & Milton Resnick 1955-1965, Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, LA
Selected American Drawings, G.W. Einstein Company Inc. New York, NY
1991   Geometries of Color: American Post-Painterly, Stux Modern, New York, NY
1990   The Humanist Icon, The New York Academy of Art, New York, NY
1990   Arbeiten von 1989, Acryl auf Leinwand, Tempera auf Papier, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland
1989   Art in Place: Fifteen Years of Acquisitions, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1988   Sightings, Instituto de Estudios Norteamericanos, Barcelona, Spain
1987   Zeichnungen, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland
1982   1954-1959, Robert Miller Gallery, New York, NY
1978   Paintings and Drawings, Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA
1977   Donald Morris Gallery, Birmingham, MI
Frühe Werke, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland
1974   Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
1970   Bilder, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland
1968   Recent Paintings, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philidelphia, PA
1967   Bilder, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland
1966   Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
1964   Bilder, Galerie Renée Ziegler, Zurich, Switzerland
  Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA
Tate Gallery, London, UK