After fellow Houstonian Jim McIngvale, Jim Love is arguably our city's most important Jim (apologies to Astros great Jim Deshaies and former secretary of state James Baker). Unlike Mattress Mac, Love set about beautifying Houston not with recliners, bedroom suites and tennis clubs, but with his quirky sculptures. If you've ever seen the huge steel airplane/oil pump hybrid at Hobby Airport (it's called Call Ernie), then you're familiar with Love's work. And you can get further acquainted at "Jim Love: From Now On" at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, Love's first major exhibit in 20 years.
Though the works are blithe, it's a bittersweet show, as Love, who collaborated with the CAMH on this retrospective, passed away last May. (Love was also a preparator for the CAMH, helping conceptualize the design and execution of several of the museum's legendary exhibitions of the '60s.) This show encompasses nearly 200 pieces from 1957 to the present and features his "put-togethers," or assemblage work, including early pieces that have rarely been shown. Love has been called an "urban archaeologist," as he made use of the surrealist and Dada-influenced practice of assemblage to create idiosyncratic works including oversize birds, jacks and flowers, and functional items such as chess sets, coat racks and chairs. The pieces range from humorous to head-scratching, and all are thought-provoking, so you'll definitely want to check out what this Houston legend has thrown together over the years.
April 22-July 2