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Lexington Avenue-53rd Street

Al Held

Passing Through, 2004

Glass mosaic on mezzanine walls

Passing Through is one of the last public works of celebrated abstract painter Al Held; it was being installed at the time of his death. The colorful and exuberant mural reveals an immense universe in which geometric elements of varying shapes and sizes float freely. In the 1960s, Held moved from abstraction to tightly controlled geometric work, with two-dimensional figures suspended on the canvas. Held was curious about how everything is structured and was inspired by theories about the universe and its mysteries. He described his interest in "images that we believe in but that are beyond our senses and that we can never experience directly." There is also another subject, that of buildings and architecture. His imagery powerfully evokes New York City's contemporary energy while acknowledging the forms and styles of the Midtown skyscrapers overhead.

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