African-American collage artist, painter of geometric abstraction and educator, Al Loving was known for work that explored color and “vibrant counterpoint”. He first gained wide public attention with hard-edged geometric paintings in a 1969 solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art. His later works became more fluid and were multi-layered, acrylic painted constructions described in a 1974 “New York Times Review” as ‘‘dynamically composed reliefs, wall pieces that energize the space around them, seemingly almost to be caught in the act of moving across the wall.”
Alvin Demar Loving was born in Detroit. His father was an educator and part-time sign painter who became a Dean at the University of Michigan School of Education. His mother, Mary Helen Greene, was a quilter whom Alvin, fascinated by the blocks of color, used to spend much time watching as she sewed.
Loving earned a fine arts degree at the University of Illinois in 1963 and a Master in Fine Arts Degree from the University of Michigan in 1965. In 1968, he moved to New York City where he taught at City College in New York from 1988 to 1996.
His last big project was a commission of 70 bright colored stained-glass windows and large mosaic wall completed in 2001 for the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
Al Loving, age 69, died of lung cancer on June 21, 2005 at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.