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Al Loving, “Humbird” (1989), mixed media on board, 72 x 100 inches (image courtesy the Estate of Al Loving and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York)

After beginning his career with gestural paintings in the vein of Abstract Expressionism, Al Loving switched gears with his 1969 solo show at the Whitney Museum — the museum’s first solo show by an African American artist — showcasing the hard-edged, geometric minimalism he would become well known for. In the decades that followed, Loving explored new directions, creating more organic abstractions from torn and sewn pieces of canvas, trading in a restrained formalism for an unbounded, exuberant aesthetic. Spiral Play: Loving in the ’80s at Art + Practice features 12 three-dimensional collages created from rag paper, some quite large, that draw on diverse influences, from free jazz to the African American quilting tradition. (Loving’s mother and grandmother were both quilters, and he would sit at their feet as a child while they worked.)

This exhibition also marks the first of four curatorial collaborations between Art + Practice and the Baltimore Museum of Art, where the show will travel in October, with the goal of making art accessible to communities historically underserved by museums.

When: Opens Saturday, April 22, 3–5pm
Where: Art + Practice (3401 W. 43rd Pl., Leimert Park, Los Angeles)

More info here.

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Matt Stromberg

Matt Stromberg is a freelance visual arts writer based in Los Angeles. In addition to Hyperallergic, he is a frequent contributor to Daily Serving, and Glasstire.