Chronology

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Motherwell's stepdaughter Cathy, friend Gerry Levine, and Jeannie Motherwell on the couch at 173 E. 94th Street, 1957. On the wall is an early state of "Je t'aime IIa," 1955-57
February-July 1955

Motherwell paints Je t’aime No II (P157), Je t’aime No IIA (P158), Je t’aime No III, with Loaf of Bread (P159), and begins Je t’aime No IV (P161). He later describes the phrase “Je t’aime” that is inscribed in large cursive script across the center of each canvas as “a cry that I would like to love.”