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Al Loving: Out of the Box

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John Yau reviews the exhibition Al Loving: Torn Canvas, at Gary Snyder Gallery, New York, on view through December 22, 2012.

Yau writes: "Made of strips of colored cloth that have been sewn together, and hang down from the wall, the torn canvas paintings are what Loving did to get outside of the box. He literally cut up his own work… the torn canvas paintings look incredibly fresh and uncategorizable, while his [earlier] illusionary cubes look increasingly like period pieces. Moreover, the change Loving made early in his career strikes me as radical a rupture as one can make in one’s history. Alfred Leslie, Guston, and Krasner are among the few others that I can think of who initiated a comparable break in their work. It is also worth noting that Philip Guston turned his back on his Abstract Expressionist paintings around the same time as Loving rejected his early efforts, and for many of the same reasons."

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