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Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

Untitled Cube

Accession Number
1969/2.25

Title
Untitled Cube

Artist(s)
Alvin D. Loving

Object Creation Date
1969

Medium & Support
acrylic on canvas

Dimensions
40 1/2 in. x 34 3/4 in. ( 102.8 cm x 88.2 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
Although he arrived in New York from Detroit in 1968 a "full blown, East Coast, Abstract Expressionist painter," Al Loving had already chosen the square as his primary structure. This University of Michigan graduate (M.F.A., 1964) began to explore the illusionistic effects allowed by color, and the square evolved into a hard-edged Minimalist cube. Ten months after his arrival in New York, Loving was invited to have a one-man show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Loving readily admits that the exhibition had less to do with art than with the political pressure that had developed out of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s for museums to increase exhibition opportunities for black artists. It was after the Whitney show that Loving moved away from the cube as a motif in his work.
Loving thought of his cubes as not only going back into space, but also occupying the surface plane and projecting, visually, out from the plane. Reacting to the idea that the history of art since the Renaissance has involved illusion created from the picture plane back, away from the viewer and into the painting, Loving has said that he wanted to "paint a three-dimensional painting on a two-dimensional ground.... [I]t seemed to me that by the end of the millennium, there should be something in front of the picture plane, to the picture plane and beyond the picture plane. All three."
Sean M. Ulmer, University Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, for "A Matter of Degree: Abstraction in Twentieth-Century Art," November 10, 2001 - January 27, 2002

Subject matter
Loving was intrigued by the history of perspective in painting and wanted to create a piece in which the vanishing point for the perspective is in front of the painted surface, toward the viewer, rather than within the surface. The result is a representation of depth that seems to protrude from the surface rather than creating the illusion of space inside the canvas.

Physical Description
A framework three-dimensional cube sits at an angle so that one of its corners appears to protrude from the center of the piece. The cube is gray, with dark gray shading on the shadowed edges, and dark and light yellow shading on the lit edges. The canvas is cut to the dimensions of the cube.

Primary Object Classification
Painting

Primary Object Type
abstract

Additional Object Classification(s)
Painting

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Minimal
Op art
abstraction
acrylic paintings (visual works)
cubes (geometric figures)
geometric abstraction
geometric shapes
inverted perspective
modern and contemporary art

3 Related Resources

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& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved