ROBERT INDIANA (1928-2018)
ROBERT INDIANA (1928-2018)
ROBERT INDIANA (1928-2018)
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ROBERT INDIANA (1928-2018)

LOVE

Details
ROBERT INDIANA (1928-2018)
LOVE
stamped with the artist's signature, number and date ''© 1966-1999 R INDIANA 7⁄8' (on the inside edge of the "V")
polychrome aluminium
18 x 18 x 9in. (45.6 x 45.6 x 22.8cm.)
Conceived in 1966 and executed in 1999, this work is number seven from an edition of eight plus four artist's proofs
Provenance
Guy Pieters Gallery, Knokke.
Private Collection.
Anon. sale, Sotheby’s New York, 11 May 2006, lot 300.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
Sale room notice
Please note that this work is not stamped with the foundry mark as listed in the print catalogue

Brought to you by

Anna Touzin
Anna Touzin Specialist, Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

Arriving in vibrant blue and green, the present work is a bold sculptural example of one of the best-known forms in twentieth-century art: Robert Indiana’s LOVE. Realised in polychrome aluminium in 1999, its titular letters are stacked in a two by two square, its ‘O’ nudged 45-degrees to rest at its iconic, jaunty angle. The three-dimensional serif type is faced in blue and has green interior sides, heightening its graphic impact. Indiana created his first LOVE painting in 1964, and the following year, the Museum of Modern Art requested to use the artwork for its gift-shop Christmas cards. In 1966, Indiana held an entire show of prints, paintings and sculptures featuring the motif at New York’s Stable Gallery. Wildly popular, his four-letter word became an American Pop icon, joining the ranks of Warhol’s soup cans and Lichtenstein’s comic-characters. Indiana continued to revisit the form in different formats and scales throughout his career. Some of its most-celebrated iterations include as a beloved Valentine’s Day stamp, first issued by the US Postal Service in 1973, and monumental sculptures which are displayed in public parks and plazas globally. Indiana was recently the subject of a major retrospective at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, where a twelve-foot version of LOVE (Red Blue Green) greets visitors at the entrance.

Born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana in 1928, the artist displayed an early sensibility to graphic signs and the formal language of advertising, later recalling his fascination with a Phillips 66 sign at the service station where his father worked. After moving to New York in 1954, Indiana declared himself to be ‘an American painter of signs’ (R. Indiana, quoted in J. Pissarro, ‘Signs Into Art’, in Robert Indiana, New York 2006, p. 59). Seeking to replicate the satisfaction he derived from his surrounding cultural ephemera, the artist himself explained: ‘It’s always been a matter of impact; the relationship of colour to colour and word to shape and word to complete piece ... I’m most concerned with the force of its impact. I’ve never found attractive things that are delicate or soft or subtly nuanced’ (R. Indiana, quoted in P. Tuchman, ‘Pop! Interviews with George Segal, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, James Rosenquist, and Robert Indiana’, Artnews, Vol. 73, No. 5, May 1974, p. 29). Indiana’s bold use of colour—blues, greens and reds—was greatly inspired by his own lover, the abstract painter Ellsworth Kelly. Merging pictorial and lexical vocabularies in his career-defining series, his striking statement remains relevant today.

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