This work will be included in the Robert Indiana catalogue raisonné being prepared by Simon Salama-Caro.
Robert Indiana's iconic work, and the word/image that he will forever be most associated with is his LOVE series. Indiana created his first LOVE sculpture in 1966, a 12 x 12 x 6 inch work in unpainted, carved aluminum, in an edition of six. The sculptures were quickly purchased by museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art and the Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. In the 1960s, Indiana began working extensively with sculpture, creating small editions of LOVE works in aluminum, Cor-ten steel, bronze and in stainless steel.
For the stainless steel edition, Indiana experimented with various finishes, choosing the highly polished face and verso, together with a satin finish for the interior surfaces. In this combination, the shiny and matte finishes function much like the two-colored painted sculptures whilst at the same time enhancing the sensuality of the work.
The stainless steel LOVE functions in different ways from the painted versions. For one, the stainless steel sculpture is intended to interact with its environment as the reflective surface picks up the color and images of its surroundings.
Indiana uses the highest grade stainless steel similar to the one used by artists such as Jeff Koons. Its creation is a time-consuming process of shaping and polishing, resulting in a work of seemingly simple perfection. There is only one edition in its size, making this an enduring and unique sculpture in his oeuvre, an outdoor sculpture that is equally impressive indoors.