This retrospective exhibition – the first significant museum exhibition in 20 years to focus on the work of the recently deceased Houston sculptor Jim Love – will bring together work from 1957 to the present. Love created his early “put-together” sculptures out of objects he found in junkyards, and soon these efforts gave way to original forms of welded iron and steel. He elevated ordinary things to inventive and often amusing works of art through his use of the Surrealist and Dada-influenced practice of assemblage, creating a body of work that includes oversized birds, jacks, and flowers as well as functional sculptures such as a chess set, coat racks, and chairs. Love and his work were important influences on Texas artists and art institutions beginning in the mid-1960s, from his work as an exhibition designer with the Contemporary Art Museum Houston’s first professional director Jermayne MacAgy to his long-time partnership with Jean and Dominique de Menil. Love’s sculpture first gained national recognition in 1961 when his work was included in The Museum of Modern Art’s groundbreaking exhibition, The Art of Assemblage.
The exhibition is organized by Senior Curator Lynn M. Herbert and will be accompanied by a major catalogue containing essays by Herbert and other scholars. It will also include comprehensive reproductions of work included in the exhibition and complete documentation on the artist ’s career.