The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 25, 2024

Blue Rational/Irrational (right panel)

Blue Rational/Irrational (right panel)

(American, 1935–2005)
© The Estate of Al Loving and Garth Greenan Gallery, New York

Did You Know?

This was included in Al Loving: Paintings (1969) at the Whitney Museum, the museum’s first solo exhibition of work by an African American artist.


Across both canvases of this large-scale diptych, Loving evokes a three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface through strategic layerings of cubic forms and carefully calibrated color juxtapositions. Around the time Loving made this work he wrote, “I am tired of objects on walls. The wall must be pierced, brought forward, pushed back.” Blue Rational/Irrational is a bold manifestation of this sentiment.
  • 1969-?
    Collection of the artist
    early 1990s-2019
    (KeyBank Collection, Cleveland, OH, given to the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH)
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Cooke, Lynne, and Douglas Crimp. Outliers and American Vanguard Art. 2018. 96-97
    Bowling, Frank, and Kellie Jones. Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists and Abstraction 1964-1980 : Frank Bowling, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Ed Clark, Melvin Edwards, Fred Eversley, Sam Gilliam, Daniel LaRue Johnson, Tom Lloyd, Al Loving, Joe Overstreet, Howardena Pindell, Haywood Bill Rivers, Alma Thomas, Jack Whitten, William T. Williams ; [Guest Curator Kellie Jones]. 2006. 55
  • Contemporary Gallery Reinstallation 2021. The Cleveland Museum of Art (organizer).
    Alvin Loving: Paintings. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (December 19, 1969–January 25, 1970).
  • {{cite web|title=Blue Rational/Irrational (right panel)|url=false|author=Al Loving|year=1969|access-date=25 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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