Alvin Loving

(Detroit, Michigan, 1935 - 2005, New York, NY)
First recognized for his hard-edged geometric paintings, Alvin Loving considered himself a collagist and  is best known for his sewn and woven dyed fabric constructions. Loving was formally educated in fine art at the University of Illinois, where he earned his BA. He continued his education at the University of Michigan, where he received his MA in Fine Arts. For four years, Loving taught at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, before moving to New York in 1967. That year, his first solo exhibition was accorded by the Gertrude Kasle Gallery in his hometown of Detroit. In 1969 Loving became the first African American artist to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. Throughout his career, he developed his abstract approach to painting from hard-edged studies of geometric form, to abandoning the tradition of the brush and using collage, sewing, and weaving compose multilayered and three-dimensional artworks. During the 1970s, Loving created works using pieces of canvas woven and arranged in patterns that maintained the geometric structure of his earlier paintings. He worked extensively with collage and in a method he called material abstraction, which involved the cutting and rearranging of painted paper.

Loving taught at City College of New York as well as New York's Art Student League, and completed several artist residencies between 1970 and 2004. His work is represented in several public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; 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 Philadelphia Museum of Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art.
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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