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Love, Jim

American, 1927-2005
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About this Artist

Jim Love

Love was the creator of highly visible public sculptures in Houston that include the charming Call Ernie (1985) airplane at the entrance to Hobby Airport; the endearing Portable Trojan Bear in Hermann Park; and the welded screen Area Code in the lobby of the Alley Theatre.

As shy as his humor was wry, Love emerged in the early 1950s as one of the modernist rebels, along with Roy Fridge and David McManaway, dubbed the "Unholy Trio" in Dallas.
The artist insisted he got into art "sideways."

Born in Amarillo in 1927, Love earned his bachelor's degree in business administration from Baylor University, but his friendship with Fridge led him to theater-set design. He worked with Paul Baker's avant-garde theater in Dallas until 1953 when the Alley brought him to Houston as its lighting director. Three years later, he was hired by the Contemporary Art Association (now the Contemporary Arts Museum) and he got his first opportunity to exhibit "put-togethers," as he called his assemblages.

"Jim had this incredible perfection of detail in everything he did," said Paul Winkler, former director of the Menil Collection. "I was a little annoyed when he turned away from the found object to work with cold steel, but the way he could make steel soft and warm, like the perfection he sought, was amazing."

Love's early works were made from objects found in scrap heaps. He welded and transformed items such as plumbing fixtures into fanciful birds, giant flowers and other creatures.

Excerpt from the Houston Chronicle obit written by Patricia C. Johnson, Wednesday May 11, 2005


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