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Al Held Art

American, 1928-2005
Alvin Jacob Held, (1928-2005) Al Held earned his slot in the annals of American contemporary art with his bold, geometric canvases that took abstraction to another level. His free-floating, interlocked cubes, and planes invited the viewer into a vertigo-inducing landscape that seemed to stretch on into infinity. "Immense architectural structures curve and slice through these complex paintings, often enmeshing themselves in cellular structures," noted the Times of London. "Viewers felt that they were exploring some mysterious universe, and Held never lost his passionate belief in abstract painting's ability to create a sublime new world." Held grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and as a teenager, missed so many days of high school that it was suggested he consider leaving altogether. He eventually earned a night-school diploma, and spent two years in the U.S. Navy. Back in New York City, he enrolled in classes at the Art Students League, and went on to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris in the early 1950s. The first solo exhibition of his work was staged there, in 1952 at the Galerie Huit. Held's abstract work took on a more orderly, formal tone, aided by a switch from oil to acrylic paints in 1959, and he had his first solo show in New York City that same year at the Poindexter Gallery. "Finessing the gap between Minimalism and Color Field painting," wrote New York Times journalist Ken Johnson of the next decade of Held's career, "he produced smooth, simplified works based on enlarged letters of the alphabet. And in the late '60s and '70s he made complex black-and-white pictures of sharply outlined cubes, pyramids, and other geometric shapes floating in illusory spaces of indeterminate depth." Some of Held's best-known works are those floating black and white cubes, a series he began in 1967. One of the largest, which stretches more than 90 feet in length, was installed at the Empire State Plaza in Albany, New York. In the late 1970s, in an abrupt shift, he began using color again, and the geometric shapes became so precise that they were sometimes mistaken for computer-generated art. Held considered his images not unlike those of religious art, once telling an interviewer that "historically, the priests and wise men believed that it was the artist's job to make images of heaven and hell believable, even though nobody had experienced these places," he said, according to his Chicago Tribune obituary. Held spent 20 years teaching at Yale University's. Represented by the Robert Miller Gallery in New York City, which staged what would be his last exhibition of new work in 2003, Held's works were avidly sought by contemporary-art enthusiasts around the world, and were part of the permanent collections of many institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art. — Carol Brennan
(Biography provided by Judy Ferrara Gallery)
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Artist: Al Held
RUSSELL'S WAY
By Al Held
Located in Three Oaks, MI
In excellent condition from an edition of 50, this piece is beautifully framed in museum-quality materials. Al Held is best remembered for his large-scale paintings of bright, hard-e...
Category

1880s Abstract Expressionist Al Held Art

Materials

Archival Paper, Etching, Aquatint

S.F.
By Al Held
Located in Henderson, NV
Al Held is know for his volumetric geometric compositions.
Category

1980s Al Held Art

Materials

Etching

Scholes I, Large Framed Geometric Abstract by Al Held
By Al Held
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Al Held, American (1928 - 2005) Title: Scholes I Year: 1991 Medium: Silkscreen, signed and numbered in pencil Edition: 80 Image Size: 23 x 29 inches Size: 29 x 34 in. (73.66 ...
Category

1990s Abstract Geometric Al Held Art

Materials

Screen

Untitled "D"
By Al Held
Located in London, GB
Signed and dated 'Al Held 61' (lower right) Price: $75,000 (+5% import VAT) Provenance: Robert Miller Gallery, New York (stock no.1179359 HELD-0075) Private collection, New York Private collection, New York (acquired from the above in 2012) Exhibited: New York, Queens Museum; Norfolk, Virginia, Chrysler Museum; Maine, Portland Museum of Art; Miami Beach, Bass Museum of Art; Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection...
Category

1960s Abstract Expressionist Al Held Art

Materials

Acrylic

Untitled "A"
By Al Held
Located in London, GB
Price: $75,000 (+5% import VAT) Provenance: Robert Miller Gallery, New York Private collection, New York (acquired from the above in 1980) Exhibited: Montpellier, Musee Fabre, "...
Category

1960s Abstract Expressionist Al Held Art

Materials

Acrylic

Scholes II, Screenprint by Al Held
By Al Held
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Al Held, American (1928 - 2005) Title: Scholes II Year: 1991 Medium: Silkscreen, signed and numbered in pencil Edition: 80 Image Size: 23 x 29 inches Size: 29 x 34 in. ...
Category

1990s Abstract Geometric Al Held Art

Materials

Screen

Kyoto-wa
By Al Held
Located in New York, NY
One of the most recognizable and collectible images by Al Held, Kyoto-wa was created by the artist as an original woodcut with lithography in 1985. Hand-signed in pencil, dated and ...
Category

Late 20th Century Abstract Geometric Al Held Art

Materials

Lithograph, Woodcut

Scholes I
By Al Held
Located in New York, NY
This screenprint was created by the artist in 1991. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 80 measuring 29 x 34 in. (73.7 x 86.4 cm.). Published by The Metropolitan Museu...
Category

20th Century Abstract Geometric Al Held Art

Materials

Screen

Scholes II
By Al Held
Located in New York, NY
This screenprint was created by the artist in 1991. Signed in pencil and numbered from the edition of 80 measuring 29 x 34 in. (73.7 x 86.4 cm.). Published by The Metropolitan Museu...
Category

20th Century Contemporary Al Held Art

Materials

Screen

Pachinko
By Al Held
Located in San Francisco, CA
Category

Al Held Art

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Previously Available Items
Scholes I
By Al Held
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Al Held, American (1928 - 2005) Title: Scholes I Year: 1991 Medium: Silkscreen, signed and numbered in pencil Edition: 80 Image Size: 23 x 29 inches Size: 29 x 34 in. (73.66 ...
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1990s Abstract Geometric Al Held Art

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Screen

Scholes I
Scholes I
H 40 in W 45.5 in
Russell's Way
By Al Held
Located in New York, NY
Al Held Russell's Way, 1989 color aquatint on Somerset paper 35.25h x 44.50w in
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1980s Abstract Geometric Al Held Art

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Russell's Way
Russell's Way
H 35.25 in W 44.5 in
Liv, Large Colorful Geometric Abstract by Al Held
By Al Held
Located in Long Island City, NY
Artist: Al Held, American (1928 - 2005) Title: Liv Year: 1992 Medium: Etching with aquatint on paper, signed and numbered in pencil Edition: 16/30 Image Size: 35.5 x 44.5 inches Size...
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1990s Abstract Geometric Al Held Art

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Scholes, 1
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Located in Fairlawn, OH
Signed and numbered in pencil by the artist lower right Edition: 80 (3/80) Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Mezzanine Gallery, New York, with their blindstamp lower...
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Scholes II
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Located in Fairlawn, OH
Signed and numbered in pencil by the artist lower right Edition: 80 (3/80) Published by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Mezzanine Gallery, New York, with their blindstamp lower...
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Scholes II
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Stone Ridge #1
By Al Held
Located in Austin, TX
Artist: Al Held Title: Stone Ridge #1 Year: 1983 Medium: Color etching Edition number 53/65 numbered on verso. Signed on verso "Al Held 83 53/65 AH.106.A" ...
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1980s Abstract Al Held Art

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Etching

Stone Ridge #1
Stone Ridge #1
H 32 in W 45 in D 1 in
Magenta
By Al Held
Located in Austin, TX
Artist: Al Held Title: Magenta Year: 1990 Medium: Color aquatint with spit bite aquatint Edition: 37/50 Signed, dated, and numbered verso Dimension: image: 35.5"h x 44.75"w, sheet: 4...
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1990s Abstract Expressionist Al Held Art

Materials

Aquatint

Magenta
Magenta
H 48 in W 61 in D 3 in
Indigo
By Al Held
Located in Austin, TX
Artist: Al Held (American, 1928-2005) Title: "Indigo" Year: 1990 Medium: Color aquatint with spit bite aquatint Signed, dated, and numbered verso Edition 32/50 Dimensions: image: 35....
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Indigo
Indigo
H 48 in W 61 in D 3 in
Stone Ridge #4
By Al Held
Located in Austin, TX
Artist: Al Held Title: Stone Ridge #4 Year: 1983 Medium: Color etching Edition number 53/65 numbered on verso. Signed on verso "Al Held 83 53/65 AH.106.A" ...
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1980s Abstract Al Held Art

Materials

Etching

Stone Ridge #4
Stone Ridge #4
H 32 in W 45 in D 1 in
Liv
By Al Held
Located in New York, NY
1992, color hardground etching with aquatint, 40 1/2 x 54 inches (102.9 x 137.2 cm), edition of 30, signed, numbered, and dated on reverse
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1990s Abstract Geometric Al Held Art

Materials

Aquatint, Etching

Liv
H 40.5 in W 54 in
Fly Away
By Al Held
Located in Palm Desert, CA
A geometric abstract spit-bite aquatint executed in bright lime green, orange, red, yellow and yellow ochre by Post War artist Al Held. From the unnumbered edition of 50. Provena...
Category

1990s Post-War Al Held Art

Materials

Aquatint

Fly Away
H 31.75 in W 39.5 in
67-B21
By Al Held
Located in Palm Desert, CA
India Ink on paper
Category

1960s Contemporary Al Held Art

Materials

India Ink

67-B21
H 20.5 in W 24.75 in

Al Held art for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a wide variety of authentic Al Held art available for sale on 1stDibs. If you’re browsing the collection of art to introduce a pop of color in a neutral corner of your living room or bedroom, you can find work that includes elements of orange, blue, red and other colors. You can also browse by medium to find art by Al Held in paint, screen print, acrylic paint and more. Much of the original work by this artist or collective was created during the 20th century and is mostly associated with the abstract style. Not every interior allows for large Al Held art, so small editions measuring 22 inches across are available. Customers who are interested in this artist might also find the work of Theodoros Stamos, Peter Voulkos, and Friedel Dzubas. Al Held art prices can differ depending upon medium, time period and other attributes. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $2,000 and tops out at $100,000, while the average work can sell for $5,565.

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