Also: Alvin Demar Loving, Jr.; Alvin Loving

Alvin D. Loving Jr. (Sept. 19, 1935 – June 21, 2005), better known as Al Loving; African-American abstract expressionist and painter. His work is known for hard-edge abstraction, fabric constructions, and large paper collages - all exploring complicated color relationships.

...Loving earned a BFA from the University of Illinois in 1963 and an MFA from University of Michigan in 1965. Within a year of moving to NYC, he received his first solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. He received National Endowment for the Arts fellowships in 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976, and 1985; and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1986.

...In the 1960s, Loving grew increasingly interested in Josef Alber's paintings of squares within squares. In an interview, he explains: "For me at the time, it was about painting the square until it was 'enough,' and that meant until it obtained form. The square that I started with would always be gone; only I knew it was a square, that that reference was there. That freed me to just paint and let things evolve...[The square] was pure energy and focus.” These geometric abstractions conveyed the brilliance of refracted light; they were not just experiments...

Alvin Loving Jr. was an innovative African American artist whose diverse body of work included striking geometric paintings. Just a year after leaving his native Detroit for New York in 1969, Loving was given a solo show at the Whitney Museum. Of the exhibition, Loving later reflected: “My geometric abstractions of this time represented a post-graduate end to my education in western culture and art history. The Whitney show would force me to scramble to find my own non-eclectic position in art.” Throughout his career, Loving developed a recognizably bold style, organizing vivid color into arresting visual arrangements with precision and subtlety.
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Laura Indick


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