New ‘Jack’ sculpture by Jim Love to be dedicated May 10 at Rice

Rice University will dedicate “Jack,” its new permanent installation from acclaimed American modernist sculptor Jim Love, at 1:30 p.m. May 10.

JIM LOVE

The red 5-by-5-foot steel sculpture is positioned on the lawn in front of the university’s Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center.

“This playful and active sculpture is an iconic edition to our growing constellation of public art installations on the Rice campus,” said Rice University Art Director Molly Hubbard. “We are incredibly thankful to the Kenneth E. Bentsen family for their generosity in making this significant contribution to our collection.”   

Love (1927–2005) was born in Amarillo, Texas. He graduated from Baylor University in 1952 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. After graduation, he moved to Houston. Love championed the practice of creating art out of the scrap metal he found in junkyards. The artist rose to prominence in 1961 when his groupings of found objects were included in the groundbreaking exhibition “The Art of Assemblage” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

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

“Jim Love was not only one of Houston’s most important artists and a catalyst for the Houston art scene, he was also a close friend,” the Bentsen family said. “His art, and in particular his ‘Jack,’ became part of our family and then our children’s families. After influencing four generations of Bentsens, we can think of no better home than Rice University, where it will bring the same awe and joy to more generations to come.”

For more information on public art at Rice, visit publicart.rice.edu.

About Jeff Falk