Concrete Abstraction

December 9, 2010 – January 29, 2011

Press Release

New York, New York – Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe is pleased to announce an exhibition of works on paper and canvas by Al Held. Held: Concrete Abstraction will open on December 9, 2010 and will remain on view until January 29, 2011. A reception will take place on the evening of December 9th between 6:00 and 8:00 PM. The public is welcome.

By the beginning of the ‘60s Al Held's signature painting style of short broad brush strokes had transformed into longer sure handed lines. The difference was particularly evident in his ink drawings from that time. Stephen Westfall's comments in connection with these works puts them into a broader context; “We're so accustomed to thinking of Held as a late master of the tape roll that the freehand elegance of these drawings comes as a surprise. It helps to remember that Held was really one of the last great Abstract Expressionists up until his shift to hard-edged painting. The transformation of the formal apprehension of the elasticity of pictorial scale into poetic content was probably the great shared drama of the Abstract Expressionists and Held is a master of this operation.” Held: Concrete Abstraction will offer an opportunity to see several works on paper done in ink and brush along with a selection of canvases from this period.

Al Held (1928-2005) was born in Brooklyn, New York. At the age of sixteen, Held joined the Navy and served for two years. Following his discharge, he enrolled in 1948 under the G.I. Bill at The Art Students League of New York. In 1949 he left New York to attend the Académie de la Grande Chaumière in Paris, eventually returning to the United States in 1953. Appointed Associate Professor of Arts at Yale University in 1962, he taught there until his resignation in 1980. Held passed away at his summer home in Camerata, Italy at the age of 76. He spent his entire career defining new possibilities for painting and during his lifetime his art was celebrated in over one hundred solo exhibitions. Al Held is represented in numerous museums both here and abroad, notably the Cleveland Museum of Art; the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art; Kunsthaus Zürich and the Whitney Museum of American Art.