SPIRAL PLAY: LOVING IN THE ‘80s
The first of four BMA/A+P exhibitions features three-dimensional collages by Loving
WHEN: on view October 18, 2017 through April 15, 2018
WHERE: Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Dr., Baltimore
The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) presents 12 exuberant collages by the late African American artist Al Loving in Spiral Play: Loving in the ‘80s. The exhibition reveals the artist working free from the constraints of academic taste, conventional thought, commercial reward, and the four corners of the canvas with three-dimensional works that nearly leap off the wall with their brilliant colors and radical forms. The exhibition is presented by the BMA and the Los Angeles-based arts and education nonprofit, Art + Practice (A+P), which debuted the show in April 2017.
Loving (American, 1935–2005) was one of the most innovative abstract artists in history, experimenting with materials and processes, drawing on everything from free jazz to his family’s quilting tradition, to expand the definition of modern painting. Loving’s collages reject the dominant art history in favor of a personal experience, intuition, formal recklessness, and a deliberate embrace of unknowing. The large-scale works expand into space, reconciling geometry and an expression of life force through profound and playful organic form. In the artist’s words, “I chose the spiral as a symbol of life’s continuity. It became an overall wish for everyone.”
Spiral Play is the first in a series of four exhibitions to be presented by the BMA and A+P, two vastly different institutions at opposite ends of the country who share a conviction that art must be made accessible to the broadest demographic.
“The collaboration between BMA and A+P represents an alignment of vision and ambition to serve urban communities who are too often ignored by museums,” said Christopher Bedford, BMA Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director. “The exhibitions we will undertake together intend to correct the 20th- and 21st-century canon, quite literally changing the face of that story, making it clear that art is a place of conversation and inclusion that can participate meaningfully in changing the world for the better.”