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Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE

Sept 26, 2013–Jan 5, 2014

Robert Indiana (b. 1928), Decade: Autoportrait 1961, 1972-77. Oil on canvas, 72 × 72 in. (182.9 × 182.9 cm). Collection of the McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas; gift of Robert L. B. Tobin. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Robert Indiana (b. 1928), The American Gas Works, 1962. Oil on canvas, 60 × 48 in. (152.4 × 121.9 cm). Museum Ludwig, Cologne. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Robert Indiana (b. Robert Clark, 1928) first emerged on the wave of Pop Art that engulfed the art world in the early 1960s. Bold and visually dazzling, his work embraced the vocabulary of highway signs and roadside entertainments that were commonplace in post war America. Presciently, he used words to explore themes of American identity, racial injustice, and the illusion and disillusion of love. The appearance in 1966 of what became his signature image, LOVE, and its subsequent proliferation on unauthorized products, eclipsed the public’s understanding of the emotional poignancy and symbolic complexity of his art. This retrospective reveals an artist whose work, far from being unabashedly optimistic and affirmative, addresses the most fundamental issues facing humanity—love, death, sin, and forgiveness—giving new meaning to our understanding of the ambiguities of the American Dream and the plight of the individual in a pluralistic society.

Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE is organized by Barbara Haskell, Curator.

Major support for Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE is provided by Morgan Art Foundation. 

Generous support is provided by Shirley and William Lehman, The Lunder Foundation, and the Robert B. Mayer Family. 

Additional support is provided by The Gage Fund, Inc., Virginia and Herbert Lust, the Overbrook Foundation, and Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel.

Works From the Exhibition

Robert Indiana, LOVE, 1968. Aluminum. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Howard and Jean Lipman Foundation, Inc. © 2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York  68.71© 2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Robert Indiana (b. 1928), The American Gas Works, 1962. Oil on canvas, 60 × 48 in. (152.4 × 121.9 cm). Museum Ludwig, Cologne. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Robert Indiana (b. 1928), The American Sweetheart, 1959-61. Oil on Homasote, 36 × 48 in. (91.4 × 121.9 cm). Cari and Michael J. Sacks, Chicago. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Robert Indiana (b. 1928), The Beware – Danger American Dream #4, 1963. Oil on canvas, four panels: 36 × 36 in. each. Collection of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; gift of the Joseph H. Hirshhorn Foundation, 1966. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Robert Indiana (b. 1928), The Demuth American Dream #5, 1963. Oil on canvas, 141 3/4 × 141 3/4 in. (360 × 360 cm). Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; gift from the Women’s Committee Fund, 1964. ©2013 Art Gallery of Ontario; Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Robert Indiana (b. 1928), The Figure Five, 1963. Oil on canvas
60 × 50 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC / Art Resource, NY. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
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Installation Photography

Installation view of Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 26, 2013–January 5, 2014). © 2013 The Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 26, 2013–January 5, 2014). © 2013 The Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 26, 2013–January 5, 2014). © 2013 The Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 26, 2013–January 5, 2014). © 2013 The Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 26, 2013–January 5, 2014). © 2013 The Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
Installation view of Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE (Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, September 26, 2013–January 5, 2014). © 2013 The Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Sheldan C. Collins
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Robert Indiana (b. 1928) has explored the power of language, American identity, and personal history for five decades. Although visually dazzling and apparently cheerful on the surface, his imagery has a depth and a darkness that draws on his own biography as well as on the myths, history, and literature of the United States. This insightful book repositions him as a seminal figure of the 1960s and 1970s, whose artistic genius combined Pop Art, hard-edged abstraction, and language-based conceptualism. With essays by René Paul Barilleaux and Sasha Nicholas.

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In the News

“Far too many of us think of [Robert Indiana] as a one-hit wonder. This is a major injustice, which Barbara Haskell, curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, has addressed with an impressively comprehensive retrospective of Indiana’s career.”
Art in America

Beyond LOVE is a spectacular exhibition and an important opportunity to rediscover the whole career of a singular figure in American art.”
BBC

“[Indiana’s] paintings are gateways between the visual and the verbal, the private and the public, the physical and the metaphysical, and the conscious and the unconscious. Richly ambiguous, they unsettle fixed categories. And they are ravishing to behold.”
The New York Times

“Top 10 Artist Retrospectives Happening This Fall”
 —Artphaire

“Video: At Home and in the Studio With Robert Indiana”
ArtInfo

“Robert Indiana Opens Up About His First U.S. Retrospective at the Whitney Museum”
Vogue

Audio: “Art Talk: What Does LOVE Have To Do With It?”
WNYC

“How New York Fell Back in Love With Robert Indiana”
The Art Newspaper

“In a rare interview at his home on Vinalhaven, Maine, the artist talks about Pop art, politics and his conflicted feelings over his most famous work, LOVE
The Art Newspaper

“‘It’s quite staggering,’ Indiana said of the exhibition. . . . ‘I can’t believe I did all this work. I should be exhausted, and I am exhausted.’"
New York Daily News

“A long overdue celebration of the depth and breath of the 85-year-old Indiana’s work over five generations.”
Forbes

“Unlike the ethereally ironic Warhol, the deadpan faux-comic-book Lichtenstein or the facilely absurd gigantist Oldenburg, Mr. Indiana meant absolutely every word he ever stenciled onto a canvas or one of his early totemic sculptures.”
The Wall Street Journal

“Lisa Perry Creates a Special Line In Collaboration with Robert Indiana”
Vogue

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Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE
Exhibition catalogue
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The Essential Robert Indiana
Publication
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Robert Indiana LOVE mug
Ceramic mug
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