Al Held

American, b. 1928, Brooklyn, New York; d. 2005, Todi, Italy
Al Held


As a prominent second-generation Abstract Expressionist, Al Held’s work often deviated from the geometric or flattened abstracted styles of his peers. Held chose to work with concepts of illusionistic space on monumental, two-dimensional surfaces. Rothko’s Canvas, one of the sixteen works site-specifically commissioned for the Empire State Plaza, is an impressive ninety-foot long artwork consisting of black geometric shapes in varying widths and sizes that appear to float and move throughout the composition. Held titled the artwork after artist Mark Rothko, who passed away during the work's completion in 1970.

Rothko's Canvas


Al Held, Rothko's Canvas


Title: Rothko's Canvas
Date: 1969-70
Medium: acrylic on canvas
Dimensions: 118.5 x 1080 inches
Accession Number: P69.2.2
                                                                                                                                                                           Location: South Concourse

Empire State Plaza Art Collection


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