Al Held | Works on Paper from 1960: Birmingham

May 20 - July 22, 2023
Installation Views
Press release
David Klein Gallery, 163 Townsend Street, Birmingham, MI is pleased to present an exhibition of over twenty of Al Held’s rarely seen works on paper from 1960. Consisting of only one or two swiftly applied brushstrokes of India ink on wax paper; these lean and organic compositions offer an intriguing preamble to Held’s more recognizable hard-edged, overlapping geometric abstractions from the late 1960s.
Al Held (1928-2005) was a leading American abstract painter. Held had his first exhibition in New York City in 1956 and exhibited regularly until his death in 2005. His work in the 1950s, called Pigment Paintings, mirrored the work of many of the Abstract Expressionistic painters. By the 1960s he had developed his own visual language of hard edged, geometric abstraction. Held was always dissatisfied with two-dimensional space and in his later work he was able to masterfully create the illusion of depth and movement on a flat canvas.
Al Held’s work is in many major museum collections including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Held had his first retrospective exhibition, curated by Marcia Tucker, at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1974.
David Klein Gallery would like to thank the Al Held Foundation for their support in the production of this exhibition.