"Working on toothy linen Ms. Held uses egg tempera, an old-fashioned medium that produces glossy, sometimes finely crackled surfaces, produces smoky colors and gives the painting an antique appearance. She applies paint in varying thicknesses and viscosities and uses intricately cut stencils for some patterns. Her paintings are as physically sensuous as they are optical." -Ken Johnson, New York Times, Art in Review (February 2013)
McClain Gallery is pleased to introduce to Houston the works of Mara Held in a solo exhibition of recent paintings and works on paper. These energetic yet delicate paintings on linen and paper use swirling organic forms that suggest lyricism and spontaneity, yet her medium of choice requires great dexterity and meticulousness. Held's ribbon-like, concentric lines in vibrant colors create intricate patterns that evoke varied sources from topography or maritime waves to Japanese Woodcuts and Psychedelic posters.
Mara Held was born in New York in 1954 and received an MA from Immaculate Heart College in 1979. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions in New York City and abroad and has been collected by such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The New York Public Library; The International Artists' Museum, Tel Aviv; and Phillips Collection in Washington, DC. Held lives and works in New York. This is her first exhibition in Texas.