Assemblage of nine joined shaped canvases, each acrylic on canvas.
In the 1960s, Loving grew increasingly interested in Josef Alber's paintings of squares within squares. In an interview, he explains: "For me at the time, it was about painting the square until it was 'enough,' and that meant until it obtained form. The square that I started with would always be gone; only I knew it was a square, that that reference was there. That freed me to just paint and let things evolve...[The square] was pure energy and focus.”
These geometric abstractions conveyed the brilliance of refracted light; they were not just experiments in color. Loving would often make polyhedrons of the same size, with different colors, and hang them together in different arrangements on the wall. The result was sometimes dozens of canvases stretching out over several feet; to view an entire composition would take time, more than just a glance, making his paintings a powerful expression of time, too. This body of work was featured in Loving's first solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Some have critiqued the Whitney for caring more about Loving's race than for his art. In fact, Loving himself looks back on this body of work with at once embarrassment and also acknowledges the importance of this step as a launching off point for the rest of his career. He had to move on because he felt there was nothing expressive about the cubes.
geometricshaped canvasacrylic on canvas