Posts Tagged ‘united states navy’

Artist of the moment……Al Held…..

Al Held was known for painting geometric shapes in a third dimension style. Held was born in Brookly, New York in the year 1928.

Held grew up making art as all children do, but not becoming obsessed or even with the thought of becoming a professional artist. This changed in 1947 when he departed from the United States Navy. Held moved back to New York and started taking classes inspired by another artist who went along the same path. I am speaking of the artist Nicholas Krushenick.

Price range information: Held works in many mediums including lithographs and serigraphs which start at $500. Watercolors range from $5,000 to $40,000. Held was most prolific with acrylics and they range from $10,000 to $300,000. Works in ink range from $5,000 to $90,000.

Krushenick served in World War II, when he got out started taking courses at the Art Students League of New York, and became a professional painter held in high regard by his peers. Below is a great example of Krushenick’s very colorful style and fun use of shapes. I can see some influence on Al Held in his compositions.



Below is a gallery featuring works by Al Held. The painting above was by his inspiration, Nicholas Krushenick.




For his artistic education Al Held was able to use the Government Infantry Bill or G.I. Bill, to attend school in Paris, France. Whilst in Paris Held attended the Academie de la Grande Chaumier. Held went to school for three years time then returned to New York. He would make his breakthrough after a few lean and tough years whilst he was trying to find his true artistic voice.

Held received his first solo exhibition in 1959. At this time he was considered an Abstract Expressionist painter.

Here we see fellow artist Judy Pfaff. I have written about her and have seen her fantastic flower installations in person. She is asked to talk about Al Held’s prints and paintings.

Its so exciting to see, but here we have another artist who received many large public commissions. One commission earned the artist more than one million dollars for his troubles! Held has works in the New York city subway system.

Many works of the artist here. Its easy to see the influence of artists like this man and Rex Ray on the screensavers on all of our computers!

Taught at Yale University from 1962 until 1980. Yale has one of the best art programs in the country and have given us such artists as Mickalene Thomas, Kehinde Wiley, and Hilary Harkness.

Won a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1966.

He took a break from his type of painting shapes by going back to black and white images with many interlocking shapes. These weren’t received well by critics and after a few years time Held put color back into his work.

Al Held passed away in 2005 at the age of seventy six years old.

With his style and use of bold color the Held reminds me of the great Roy Lichtenstein. Lichenstein is well known for his use of Ben Day dots, but he had tremendous knowledge of color.  Below is a great example of a seascape done with very simple shapes, bold color, and great composition.


Have some fun and relax with a painting using simple geometric shapes and complimentary colors!

Most important, HAVE SOME FUN!