Al Held was born in Brooklyn in 1928. After being expelled from high school he enlisted in the United States Navy and, following three years of service, left to study at the Art Students League in New York. Although primarily a painter, Held turned to working on paper at various points in his career and experimented with both drawing and printmaking to clarify and inform his work in paint.

In 1998 and 1999 he worked at Tyler Graphics on the Prime moments series, which takes as its basis geometric elements such as triangles, squares and circles placed within a grid–like structure. The lithographs recall his early explorations in geometric abstraction, where tension is created through the use of illusionistic space.
Emilie Owens
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Further information will be added to this site as the National Gallery proceeds with its research and documentation.

Last updated October 2014