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3.03.2013

AL HELD

hello, and happy new week. happy march too by the way.
as i mentioned on friday, i went gallery hopping on thursday and well of course i'd like to share a couple of pics and my experiences with you.
well, i will start by the one main event i attended which was really the highlight of the evening.
cheim & read gallery had the opening of their hosting not one or two, but seven monumental paintings by al held (1928-2005), a new york painter.
al held was known to be part of the abstract expressionist movement. his work consists of geometric, bright or contrasting paintings. he plays with familiar forms like those of letters for example and distorting them in a way that engages the viewer to think and trouble himself about a form he is otherwise comfortable with so to speak. his choices in colors are crucial as they add weight and emphasis to create the aforementioned mental dialogue with the viewer.
i was lucky enough to se "ivan the terrible" among other works.
"alphabet paintings" - al held
apart from the fact that his work is truly very interesting and a wonderful example of contemporary art, there is something awe-inspiring to see paintings by such a person live and up close within touching distance. the fact that all you have read about is sitting right in front of you and engaging you in a mind game. for me, that is  what art is. art is not just a matter of aesthetics but an expression of thought, a temptation, a means to evoke dialogue or even argument.
"alphabet paintings" - al held
furthermore, there is something very architectural to his work, especially the monumental paintings. while not symmetric, their geometric character along with the color surfaces and contrasts create a perfect balance. the more you look at the paintings the more it feels that if a single stroke was to change perhaps the slope of one of the shapes then it could come tumbling down, regardless of the fact that it is 2dimensional and therefore incapable of any self inflicted movement.

of course, the event was excquisite and fun, full of really interesting people and faces and very well organized. the hosts were very welcoming and engaging which really created the perfect setting to observe bright and giant work like this. if you're in town and get a chance definitely pay a visit!

xoxo

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