For the 2016 edition of Frieze Masters, Spotlight, Garth Greenan Gallery presents a solo-exhibition of works by Al Loving—Al Loving: 1969. The three works included were all featured in the artist’s solo-exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art (December 19, 1969–January 25, 1970), the first in the Museums history by an African-American artist. Our booth presentation will be the first time that these works have bee shown since then.
Born in Detroit in 1935, Loving relocated to New York in 1968. Unlike other African-American artists whose art focused on the racial politics of the era, Loving was a staunch abstractionist. His works were built upon strict yet simple geometric shapes—often hexagonal or cubic modules. Inspired by Hans Hoffmann (who taught Loving’s mentor Al Mullen), Loving concentrated on the tension between flatnessand spatial illusionism. He explored this tension using a hard-edged geometric vocabulary related to Minimalism—as in Untitled, 1969, which uses a strategic layering of cubic forms and juxtaposition of warm and cool colors to create an optical play of three-dimensionality.
Throughout his career, Loving had solo exhibitions at many well-known institutions, including: Gertrude Kasle Gallery (1969, 1970, Detroit), William Zierler, Inc. (1971, 1972, 1973, New York), Fischbach Gallery (1974, 1976, New York), The Studio Museum in Harlem (1977, 1986, New York), Diane Brewer Gallery (1980, 1983, New York), June Kelly Gallery (1988, 1990, 1992, New York), the Neuberger Museum of Art (1998, Purchase, New York), and Kenkeleba House (2005, New York). His work was also featured in many important group exhibitions, such as L’art vivant aux États-Unis (1970, Fondation Maeght, Saint-Paul, France), Contemporary Black Artists in America (1971, Whitney Museum of American Art), Lamp Black: Afro-American Artists, New York and Boston (1973, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Another Generation (1979, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York), Afro-American Abstraction (1981, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Queens), and The Appropriate Object (1989, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo), among others. Most recently, Loving’s work appeared in High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting, 1967–1975 (2006, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro), Target Practice: Painting Under Attack, 1949–1978 (2009, Seattle Art Museum), America is Hard to See (2015, Whitney Museum of American Art), and Marrakech Biennale 6 (2016, Morocco).
Loving’s work is featured in the collections of major museums around the country, including: 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.
Garth Greenan Gallery is pleased to represent the Estate of Al Loving.