Alvin Loving - Power and Love
American, 1935 - 2005
Power and Love, 1996
Acrylic on rag paper backed with Plexiglass, 57 x 51.5

Gift of Judy and J.D. Williamson II (BBA '67, MBA '68)

A native Detroiter with an impressive national reputation, Loving did his graduate art studies at the University of Michigan. He became widely known in 1969 after an exhibit in which he displayed hard-edged geometric paintings. Later in his career he became known for his more fluid, mulit-layered acrylic painted constructions. These are sculptures that create movement while they sit on the wall. He continued to live and work in New York until his death in 2005.
For Power and Love, the artist applied acrylic paints to acid-free paper and covered the sheets with thick, glossy gels. He then cut out a series of coiled shapes and mounted them on Plexiglas forms cut to the same specifications. Moving beyond the rectangular format of traditional painting, Loving has created here and elsewhere, "shaped" works of art that reflect an important tendency in contemporary abstraction. With an emphasis on surface and materials, Loving's exuberant and lyrical forms seem barely able to contain themselves. His dominant shape is the spiral. Suggestive of automobile wheels, circus rings, violin scrolls and tribal jewelry, it is a symbol of regeneration for the artist. In response to contemporary political art, Loving states: "We can be political in the streets, but a statement in art must be an affirmation of life."