Al Loving USA, 1935-2005


Al Loving was an American abstract painter and sculptor who experimented with other ways of working with paint and supports, besides marking a flat canvas. Working with concepts related to the Abstract Expressionist tradition, Loving developed a unique method of using fabric, paper, cardboard and paint to construct abstract, gestural, sculptural collages that express color and emotion.


"Abstraction is the most direct route to the intellect,” Loving said. “In other words when you look at my work, there’s nothing else there than what you see. There’s no hidden messages. It’s about color. It’s about material.”


New York was an important place for Loving. He lived there from 1968 until his death in 2005. In 1991, he embarked on his Memories of Midtown and Last Memories of Midtown series, two examples of which are in the permanent collection of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Made from materials such as 300 lb rag paper, cardboard, and acrylic paint, and sometimes mounted on Plexiglass or cardboard, the works in this series bridge the worlds of high and low art to evoke the energy, color, and forms of life typical of New York City. Memories of Midtown is an ideal example of the enthusiasm Loving infused into his practice, bringing color and form together in an explosive expression of spirit. Other works from this time period, such as Loving's Wythe Street series and Mercer Street series, also make reference to locations around New York that were of personal importance to Loving.


Loving’s work has been exhibited in man of the most influential public institutions in the world, including The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, NY; the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY; Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul, France; The Whitney Museum of American Art, NY, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens, NY;  Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA; and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; among others. Loving’s work is included in the permanent collections of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas; the Detroit Institute of Arts; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art; the National Gallery of Art; the Pérez Art Museum Miami; the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia; the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Rose Art Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others.