ARTIST STATEMENT: Chris Held (b. 1978, Atlanta, GA) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He received a BFA in Furniture Making from the Oregon College of Art and Craft in 2006 and an MFA in Sculpture from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2010. In 2007 he co-founded Von Tundra, a design and art collaborative specializing in the design of one-off and limited edition furniture, interior design, and conceptual exhibitions.
Working across a variety of media, Held engages design and art as highly compatible disciplines. His work employs the languages of craft, minimalism, and contemporary design to recontextualize functional forms and their associate meanings. Held’s work has been presented in both gallery and commercial contexts, selected exhibitions and commissions include: 6/One, White Box Gallery, Portland, OR (2012), Space Post, High Desert Test Sites, Joshua Tree, CA (2011), Eins, Tapir Gallery, Berlin, Germany (2011), Southern Pacific, Lawndale Arts Center, Houston, TX (2011), High Desert Brunch Club, A-Z West, Joshua Tree, CA (2010), The After Party, Specific Merchandise, Los Angeles, CA (2010), and Furthermore, Gallery Homeland, Portland, Oregon (2009).
In 2012, Held was awarded a Project Grant by the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Portland, OR, as well as an Emergency Project Grant by the Foundation for Contemporary Art, New York, NY. In 2010 he was the recipient of an Artist Initiative Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, Minneapolis, MN. Additionally, his work has been acclaimed by Core77 Design Awards (2013), Ethel Morrison VanDerlip Foundation (2010), Denver Art Museum (2009), Portland Spaces Design Awards (2009), and ShowPDX Design Awards (2008). His work has been reviewed by a range of print and online sources, including: Gestalten, Dwell, Art LTD., Dezeen, Art Papers, Designboom, Art Knowledge News, Surface, Design Milk, Futu, Damn Magazine, Nylon, and It’s Nice That.