Robert Indiana

(1928 - 2018)

About The Artist

Born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana in 1928, Robert Indiana spent three years in the U.S. Air Force before attending the Art Institute of Chicago. He later studied at both the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in Maine and the Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland and, in 1954, moved to New York. After befriending Ellsworth Kelly, Indiana joined a community of artists in Coenties Slip, where he first began using found objects in his sculptures. It was during his residence there that he discovered the 19th century brass stencils that inspired the text-based work for which Indiana is best known. Describing himself as a "painter of signs," Indiana blended the formal qualities of hard-edge painting and Pop art to examine "American identity" and "the power of abstraction and language." While certainly considered a leader in the Pop art movement, Indiana diverged from the rhetoric of his contemporaries by consistently undertaking socio-political themes through his astute allusions to literature and historical events. Throughout the early 1960s, Indiana attracted glowing critical attention and was featured in a number of high-profile exhibitions and collaborations. It wasn't until 1966, however, that Indiana developed his signature LOVE image, which would become an "icon of modern art" and launch the artist to international fame. By the end of the 1970s, Indiana retreated to rural Maine and invested his creative energy in the rendering of images and texts that related to the lived experience of his local environment.

In addition to maintaining broad visibility in popular culture, Indiana's works are held domestically in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C., and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.. The artist's works are also held by many international institutions including the Museum Ludwig in Germany, the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum in the Netherlands, the Shanghai Art Museum in China, and the Israel Museum.

"Life." Robert Indiana,