Robert Indiana


Robert Indiana (born Robert Clark; September 13, 1928 – May 19, 2018) was an American artist associated with the pop art movement. His "LOVE" print, first created for the Museum of Modern Art's Christmas card in 1965, was the basis for his 1970 Love sculpture and the widely distributed 1973 United States Postal Service "LOVE" stamp. He created works in media including paper (silk screen) and Cor-ten steel.

Robert Indiana studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1949–1953), the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (summer 1953) and Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art (1953–1954).[4] He returned to the United States in 1954 and settled in New York City.

Indiana grew reclusive in his final years. He died on May 19, 2018, at his home in Vinalhaven, Maine, of respiratory failure at the age of 89.

Indiana's work often consists of bold, simple, iconic images, especially numbers and short words like EAT, HUG, and, his best known example, LOVE. In his EAT series, the word blares in paint or light bulbs against a neutral background; he regularly paired “EAT” with “DIE”

Other well-known works by Indiana include: his painting the unique basketball court formerly used by the Milwaukee Bucks in that city's MECCA Arena, with a large M shape taking up each half of the court;[13][14] his sculpture in the lobby of Taipei 101, called 1-0 (2002, aluminum), using multicoloured numbers to suggest the conduct of world trade and the patterns of human life; and the works he created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, attacks and exhibited in New York in 2004 called the Peace Paintings.

Between 1989 and 1994, Indiana painted a series of 18 canvases inspired by the shapes and numbers in the war motifs paintings that Marsden Hartley did in Berlin between 1913 and 1915.

Indiana was also a theatrical set and costume designer, such as the 1976 production by the Santa Fe Opera of Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All, based on the life of suffragist Susan B. Anthony. He was the star of Andy Warhol's film Eat (1964), which is a 45-minute film of Indiana eating a mushroom. Warhol also made the brief silent film Bob Indiana Etc. (4 minutes, 1963), a portrait of the artist with appearances by Wynn Chamberlain and John Giorno.

Indiana's best known image is the word Love in upper-case letters, arranged in a square with a tilted letter "O". The iconography first appeared in a series of poems originally written in 1958, in which Indiana stacked LO and VE on top of one another, then in a painting with the words "Love is God”. The red/green/blue image was then created for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964. It was put on an eight-cent U.S. Postal Servicepostage stamp in 1973, the first of their regular series of "love stamps".

The first serigraph/silk screen of "Love" was printed as part of an exhibition poster for Stable Gallery in 1966.

In 1977, he created a Hebrew version with the four-letter word Ahava (אהבה "love" in Hebrew) using Cor-ten steel, for the Israel Museum Art Garden in Jerusalem.

In 2008, Indiana created an image similar to his iconic LOVE, but this time showcasing the word "HOPE", and donated all proceeds from the sale of reproductions of his image to Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign, raising in excess of $1,000,000. A stainless steel sculpture of HOPE was unveiled outside Denver's Pepsi Center during the 2008 Democratic National Convention.[24] Editions of the sculpture have been released and sold internationally and the artist himself has called HOPE "Love's close relative".

For Valentine's Day 2011, Indiana created a similar variation on LOVE for Google, which was displayed in place of the search engine site's normal logo.

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