Al Loving

Al Loving was an African American painter with great international recognition and prestige, whose work is part of the aesthetics of expressionist abstraction. When he was little more than 30 years, Loving had already made a solo exhibition at the important “Whitney Museum of American Art” in New York, an event that was decisive for his later career, and opened many doors to fame. In fact, he was the first African American artist who had a solo show at the relevant museum.

The earliest abstractions made by the artist were very geometric, based on straight lines and flat areas, often with the figure of the cube as recurring element. Later the artist became more expressive, more free from the shackles of his geometric painting, which, according to the author, had imprisoned him, not let him amplify his creativity. Thus began the works made with bits and pieces of cloth. They were numerous strips of canvas, cut by the artist, and also painted, crushed, darned. The end result was wonderful, as if the artist had broken and returned to restructure his own creative path. All this with an astonishing spontaneity.


Another interesting aspect explored by the artist were the multiple collages made from cardboard and paper, with a shrill and seductive color gamut. In these cases, the space occupied a key role, especially in the manner of holes or empty areas, which confer great dynamism to the work.

With an impressive work, the death of Al Loving meant a tremendous loss for the African American culture as a whole. However, his legacy is eternal, resisting any test of time.

Collections: His artwork can be found in permanent collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, as well as the Detroit Institute of Arts.