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Al Held Estate Goes to White Cube

Al Held in 1970.


White Cube gallery, which has locations in London and Hong Kong, as well as an office in New York, will now represent the Al Held Foundation. The late painter’s work was previously shown in New York by Cheim & Read gallery and in San Francisco by Berggruen gallery.

“Looking at his abstract paintings today, you can see that he was way ahead of his time, and as such, his work speaks to a number of contemporary practitioners of abstraction,” John Good, the gallery’s director of artist estates, said in a statement. “We look forward to sharing Held’s work with a wider international audience and bolstering the understanding of his probing intellect. The Al Held Foundation will serve as the cornerstone of our efforts to work with the estates of artists.”

Held, who died in 2005, is often grouped with the hard-edge painting movement during the 1950s and ’60s. His geometric abstractions from the period are characterized by sharp forms delineated through alternating, vibrant colors, and were often featured in some of the era’s most important group shows, including the Clement Greenberg–curated “Post Painterly Abstraction” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1964. Starting in 1967, Held abandoned color in his canvases entirely and went on to produce painting featuring arrangements of black and white forms for several decades.

The Al Held Foundation is the first artist foundation to be represented by White Cube, whose slate tends toward established contemporary artists, including Anselm Kiefer, Damien Hirst, Julie Mehretu, Danh Vo, and Theaster Gates. White Cube has already lined up two shows devoted to the artist—one at the gallery’s space in London’s Bermondsey neighborhood, in 2019, and one at its Hong Kong venue, in 2020.

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