Gary Snyder Gallery is pleased to announce Mara Held, an exhibition of paintings at 529
West 20th Street. Opening on January 24, 2013, the exhibition is Held’s first in a New York
gallery in over a decade. Nineteen of the artist’s delicately painted, intricately detailed works
will be on view, all created during the past five years.
In her paintings, Held uses dense, opaque colors and freehand drawing to create a variety of
dramatic surface effects. In works such as Hiroshige I (2009) and Ogee (2012), calligraphic
lines and concentric, ribbon-like forms vibrate across the works’ surfaces, as if compelled by
some electrical impulse. Held’s use of egg tempera, however, belies the discrete nature of
these forms; its inherent cracks and blemishes lend her paintings an aura of timelessness.
Although painted as recently as last year, they could be, just as easily, wall fragments from
an old church or agitated, scumbled markings on some ancient rockface.
Born in New York, New York in 1954, Mara Held received an MA from Immaculate Heart
College in 1979. Since then, she has had solo exhibitions in New York, Brooklyn, and Milan.
In addition, her work has been in group exhibitions at many prestigious institutions,
including: the Williamsburg Art & Historical Society (1998, Brooklyn), the Municipal Art
Society of New York (2003), Saatchi and Saatchi (2003, New York), and The Painting
Center (2008, New York). Most recently, Held’s work appeared in Splendor of Dynamic
Structure: Celebrating 75 Years of the American Abstract Artists (January 13–February 25,
2011) at the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University.