Stone Ridge #4

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Al Held

American, 1928 - 2005

Stone Ridge #4, 1983

  • Not On View

Color etching on paper

Dimensions: 26 3/4 × 39 5/8 in. (67.9 × 100.6 cm)

Gift of the Friends of Modern Art, 1983.74

Stone Ridge #4 is characteristic of Al Held’s work, with its sparse, often three-dimensional forms arranged in a highly structured manner. There is no simple delineation of foreground, middle ground, and background. Instead lines converge to create an illusionistic space that has no rational plan. The end result is a dynamic composition of lines that activates the page. This color etching was likely accomplished by creating a series of different plates, perhaps even one plate for each color in the composition. The technical precision required to accomplish this work illustrates Held’s mastery of the medium. After studying in New York and Paris, Al Held began his career by working in an Abstract Expressionistic style, where lines were gestural and abstracted. He later turned to a hard-edged style that was called Geometric Abstraction. In the late 1960s Held began to challenge the flatness he perceived in even the most modernist painting styles, breaking up the picture plane with rigid lines like you see here.

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