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Jim Love was born in Amarillo, Texas in 1927 and died in Houston, Texas in 2005.  In 1952 he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at Baylor University in Waco, Texas where he studied with the legendary theater director Paul Baker, who turned Love’s interest from acting to set design.  He moved to Houston in 1953 and worked for many institutions, including the Alley Theatre and Houston Grand Opera, as a set fabricator.  In 1956, Jermayne MacAgy, first director of the Contemporary Arts Association, which was largely funded by John and Dominique de Menil, hired Love as museum technician.  He was closely associated with the de Menils and their institutions for nearly fifty years. 

Love’s work has been exhibited in many exhibitions, including the group exhibition The Art of Assemblage at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1961.  In 1973 the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston organized his first solo museum exhibition, Jim Love: In Pursuit of the Bear, in collaboration with the Fort Worth Art Center and the Tyler Museum of Art.  That exhibition was curated by Jay Belloli with the catalogue essay by Douglas MacAgy.  In 1980 Jim Love: Up to Now was organized at The Institute for the Arts, Rice University by Dominique de Menil, Heidi Renteria, and Walter Hopps; close friend and writer Donald Barthelme wrote the introduction to the exhibition catalogue.  Love’s work has been included in six group exhibitions at The Menil Collection, including the inaugural exhibition in 1987 and David McManaway and Friends in 2005.  His work has also been included in ten group exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, including A Spirited Vision: Highlights of the Bequest of Caroline Wiess Law to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 2004.  In 2006, Jim Love: From Now On, a major retrospective was organized by Lynn M. Herbert for the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston.  That exhibition catalogue includes essays by Mel Chin, Don Quaintance, and Paula Webb

Love’s public sculptures in Houston include Jack on The Menil Collection campus; Can Johnny Come Out and Play? in the The Lillie and Hugh Roy Cullen Sculpture Garden at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Call Ernie at the entrance to Hobby Airport; Portable Trojan Bear in Hermann Park; Paul Bunyan Bouquet no. 2 and Jack on the Rice University campus; Landscape with Blue Trees on the University of Houston campus; and the welded screen Area Code in the lobby of the Alley Theatre.  His works are in the permanent collections of many institutions, including The Menil Collection, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas, Dallas Museum of Art, Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, among others. 

Jim Love was first represented by Kathryn Swenson at The New Arts gallery (1958-1963) and then by private dealer Louise Ferrari (1965-1971).  Janie C. Lee Gallery represented Love from 1973-1992, and he has been represented by Moody Gallery since 1992. 

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