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Alvin Loving

American, born 1935, Detroit, Michigan; died 2005, New York, New York

Untitled, 1973

Acrylic on canvas

Purchased with funds from Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Mohr and the Museum Acquisition Fund 1975.10

  • Alvin Loving experimented with abstraction and geometry.
  • Later in his career, he created wall hangings of overlapping shapes cut from paper or canvas.
  • Loving painted pieces of canvas and then assembled hangings like this one. This work has all the elements of a traditional painting, though it looks quite different.

Alvin Loving

American, born 1935, Detroit, Michigan; died 2005, New York, New York

Untitled, 1971

Acrylic on canvas

Gift of the William Zierler Gallery 1974.109

  • Alvin Loving was interested in playing with spatial illusion and abstraction.
  • His early works feature geometric abstractions on canvases with unusual shapes.
  • Loving was a Black artist working in New York during the Civil Rights Era. While some of his peers created narrative images, he insisted that abstraction was also valuable.

Gary David Bower

American, born 1940, Dayton, Ohio

Cheson, 1969

Oil on canvas

Museum Acquisition Fund 1971.19

  • Ohio-born artist Gary Bower is known for his abstract paintings.
  • He works in multiple media, including ink, watercolor, and acrylic.
  • Many of his compositions have tiled squares bisected by diagonals, like the ones seen here.
  • This work features thin washes of paint layered to create its rough-looking texture.

Milton Resnick

Russian and American, born 1917, Bratslav, Russia; died 2004, New York, New York

Abstract Expression, 1959

Oil on linen

Gift of Mrs. Mary S. Huhn, Mrs. Dorothy S. Steinberg, and Mr. John F. Seiberling, Jr. in memory of their father, Mr. J. Frederick Seiberling 1964.14

  • Milton Resnick was just as interested in the process of creating an abstract painting as he was in the final product.
  • He applied many layers of loose brushstrokes on top of one another.
  • While other artists changed their styles over time, Resnick worked in this flowing style for his whole career.

Dan Davidson

American, born 1937

Dispersion #2, c. 1970

Acrylic on canvas

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Rory O’Neil 1970.19

  • Dan Davidson is known for sparse geometric images.
  • The angles and placements of these lines give the impression of deep space beyond the flat canvas.
  • Davidson draws inspiration from the arrangements of lines seen in Asian art.

John Clem Clarke

American, born 1937, Bend, Oregon

Morse–The Old House of Representatives, 1969

Oil on canvas

Gift of Mary S. and Louis S. Myers 1971.20

  • John Clem Clarke transforms well-known compositions by using a restricted range of colors and simplified forms.
  • He cuts stencils and then applies layer after layer of thinned oil paint with a spray bottle.
  • While this composition is a faithful replica of the original, now in the National Gallery, the color scheme and flat appearance of Clarke’s image make it quite different.

Holt Quentel

American, born 1961, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Blue P, 1987

Latex on canvas with rope

Gift of Barbara Schwartz in memory of Eugene M. Schwartz 2008.170

  • Holt Quentel paints on new canvas and then deliberately distresses its surface, pierces it with grommets, and threads rope through it.
  •  Her painstaking technique creates the look of an old, battered commercial awning or tarp—a familiar yet anonymous object.
  • Many of Quentel’s works feature a single letter; she is largely silent as to the meaning of these graphic design elements.

Craig Lucas

American, born 1941, Cleveland, Ohio; died 2011, Kent, Ohio

Broken Arrow, 2001

Oil and alkyd on panel

Gift of the artist 2002.6

  • Craig Lucas paints in layers. The streaky quality of his work allows buried colors to peek out.
  • This colorful composition is more intricate than one might expect. The grid creates harmony while the many colors add complex relationships.
  • Lucas spent 40 years exploring abstraction in drawing and painting.

Richard Deacon

British, born 1949, Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom

Tomorrow, And Tomorrow, And Tomorrow ‘J’, 2001

Glazed ceramic

Gift of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery; fabrication costs from the Museum Acquisition Fund 2005.19

  • Richard Deacon hand-built this work from coiled clay.
  • Deacon aims for a handmade rather than industrial appearance in his work, despite its angular repetitions.
  • The title alludes to a speech in William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. The title character says “Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow,” while lamenting the death of his wife.


Elmer Novotny

American, born 1909, Cleveland, Ohio; died 1997, Walnut Creek, California

Two Weeks with Pay, 1957

Casein on panel

Museum Acquisition Fund 1958.39

  • Cleveland-born Elmer Novotny taught painting at Kent State University.
  • Novotny was known for his realistic images and attention to detail.
  • This composition has numerous strong horizontal lines, including the horizon, the line of the beach, and the slats on the huts.
  • Repeated elements, like the rectangular windows and the shape of the huts, enliven this composition.

H. N. Han

Chinese and American, born 1939, Hunan, China

8 Smoke Stacks, 1973

Acrylic on canvas

Gift of the O. K. Harris Gallery, New York City 1974.113

  • H.N. Han’s painting is composed of fine sprays of color that are visible from up close. When the work is seen from afar, a realistic scene becomes clearer.
  • Han was influenced by the Pointillism of 19th-century French painter Georges Seurat.
  • Han’s composition and muted palette show this industrial complex as a series of simplified geometric forms.

John William “Uncle Jack” Dey

American, born 1912, Hampton, Virginia; died 1978, Richmond, Virginia Accupuncture Spear Style —Manhunter’s [sic], c. 1960-1975

Enamel and aluminum paint on fiberboard

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. 1991.58

  • Uncle Jack Dey’s picture shows a great deal of movement. Birds circle above as spear-wielding women chase a man across the canvas.
  • Dey was a retired police officer who took up painting. He used the same enamel paints to both restore bicycles and make his art.
  • While his images have strong narrative elements, they usually don’t draw from known stories.

Mary Ellen McDermott

American, born 1919; died 1998

Man is the Measure of All Things, c. 1953 Oil on fiberboard

Museum Acquisition Fund 1953.9

  • Mary Ellen McDermott’s complex image shows humans on one side of a scale. Opposite them are a violin, a beaker, a quill, and a microscope.
  • Behind the scales, a faint figure can be seen stretching across the whole canvas. This may be McDermott’s representation of God.
  • McDermott used layers of oil paint to create a textured surface.
  • McDermott worked at the Akron Art Institute for many years before it became the Akron Art Museum. She taught painting and enamel work.

Arthur Allen Lewis

American, born 1873, Mobile, Alabama; died 1957, Basking Ridge, New Jersey

Harbor Scene, 1952

Oil on canvas

Gift of Mrs. Mary S. Huhn, Mrs. Dorothy S. Steinberg, and Mr. John F. Seiberling, Jr. in memory of their father, Mr. J. Frederick Seiberling 1964.39

  • Arthur Allen Lewis used a constrained color palette in this painting. For example, the same green repeats in the ground, buildings, and clouds.
  • This work, with its abstracted forms and layered colors, deviates considerably from Lewis’s usual style.
  • Lewis’s earlier style, seen in prints like his St. Francis Preaching to the Birds, was illustrative and more realistic, but also graceful and lively.

Francis Joseph Meyers

American, born 1921; died 1998

The Garden, c. 1960

Oil on canvas

Gift of the artist 1964.45

  • Francis Meyers’ bold painting is alive with movement.
  • Arcing lines repeat across the surface, echoing the curves of numerous colored circles.
  • The red background grounds the image, creating an overall visual harmony.
  • Meyers lived and worked in Northeast Ohio for most of his life, training and eventually teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Art.

Joseph Koch (a.k.a. Joko)

American, born 1907; died 2012

Circus Day, c. 1948

Oil on fiberboard

Museum Acquisition Fund 1948.171

  • Joseph Koch’s composition is filled with movement, from the man wrenching the fire hydrant to the flags fluttering in the background.
  • The repetition of yellow and red elements creates visual unity.
  • Koch balances realism, in the actions of the figures, with stylization, in the lack of detail in their faces..

Joseph Wagner

American, born 1901; died, date


Early American, 1963

Mixed media on Fiberboard

Museum Acquisition Fund 1964.49

  • This work by Joseph Wagner renders a colonial American in a geometric style.
  • The intricate velvet textile that Wagner placed in the image contrasts with the figure’s simplified face and hands.
  • Wagner exhibited his art extensively in the Akron-Canton area.

Reconsidered: Works from the Collection is made possible through the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Ohio Arts Council, the John P. Murphy Foundation, the Mary and Dr. George L. Demetros Charitable Trust, and the Kenneth L. Calhoun Charitable Trust, KeyBank, Trustee.