Robert Indiana is an iconic American artist who is widely recognized in the pop art world across the United States and throughout the civilized cities of the world. His artwork mostly consists of graphic images tinged with the existential, and his name ranks high on the list of artists from Indianapolis.
Robert Indiana is best-known today in his home state of Indiana as the sculptor of the statue called LOVE, which has proudly adorned the famous Indianapolis attraction, the Indianapolis Museum of Art since 1975. Among the many iconic pieces of art in Indianapolis, this sculpture is often considered the most influential.
Born in 1928 in New Castle, Indiana, Robert Indiana’s birth name is Robert Clark. He moved with his family from New Castle to Indianapolis, where he grew up and attended the prestigious and historic Arsenal Technical High School. After graduating, he relocated in 1954 to New York City; there, he immersed himself in the pop art movement that was going strong at the time in that area.
Though Indiana himself claims that he was more a “hard edge” artist than a card-carrying member of the pop art scene, Robert Indiana was the star of Andy Warhol’s movie, Eat. It’s a basic tenet of Indiana’s approach that great art must not necessarily be difficult art.
|Here’s an excellent video with Robert Indiana, speaking about his work.|
By 1962, Robert Indiana found himself hanging his first solo exhibition. To date, he has more than thirty solo exhibitions of his work, in galleries throughout the United States and the world. Many national museums show work by Robert Indiana, among them the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo and Brandeis Museum in Massachusetts.
|Here’s a historic video clip of Robert Indiana commenting on his famous LOVE sculpture.|
Known for his graphic paintings as well as his sculptures, Indiana has reconfigured his arresting piece called LOVE in many different incarnations, such as a U.S. postage stamp and several other versions installed both nationally and internationally. One version, located at the Art Garden in the Israel Museum, is pictured here. The word “love” has been translated into “Ahava,” its Hebrew counterpart.
Indiana created a new and popular takeoff on the LOVE sculpture in 2008, in which he replaced the world “love” with the word “hope,” the cornerstone of the Barack Obama presidential campaign. Artist Indiana was able to donate over one million dollars to Obama’s campaign in reproduction proceeds.
[Videos are used by permission from AmericanINSIGHT, a non-profit organization founded by Margaret Chew Barringer. AmericanINSIGHT produces historical documentaries for television and the Internet. For more historical insights and broadcast-quality videos on American history and culture, please visit www.AmericanINSIGHT.org.]
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