Pattern by Visitor,
1 hour ago
Change it!

Robert Indiana: Beyond Love

Robert Indiana, The X-5, 1963. Oil on canvas, five units, 36 × 36 in (91.4 × 91.4 cm) each; 108 × 108 in. (274.3 x 274.3 cm) overall. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase  64.9a-e
© 2009 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Artist Robert Indiana said: “I haven’t done a painting without a message.”

Indiana has experimented with simple words, signs, and numbers to create his paintings and sculptures. What messages can you find in his work? Check out the Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE exhibition, on view through January 5, 2014. 

Robert Indiana, LOVE, 1966. Oil on canvas, 71 7/8 × 71 7/8 in. (182.6 × 182.6 cm). Indianapolis Museum of Art; James E. Roberts Fund. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Robert Indiana, LOVE, 1966. Oil on canvas, 71 7/8 × 71 7/8 in. (182.6 × 182.6 cm). Indianapolis Museum of Art; James E. Roberts Fund. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

LOVE (1966)
This is Indiana’s best-known painting. He made it in the 1960s when the hippie movement was just beginning to take off, and people saw this work as a symbol of the counterculture. Since its creation, LOVE has appeared on many products including postage stamps, doormats, mugs, and even automobile license plates. Have you seen it before? Where?

A FEW THINGS THAT HAVE INSPIRED INDIANA:

His first-grade teacher who got him interested in art.

Words, highway signs, symbols, and numbers.

Artists, poets, and writers such as Charles Demuth, William Carlos Williams, and Herman Melville.

Phrases and sentences from books and poetry.

All things American. He even changed his last name from Clark to an American state, Indiana.

And there’s so much more to Indiana’s art than his painting, LOVE.

TAKE A SNEAK PEEK. . .

Robert Indiana (b. 1928), The Sweet Mystery, 1959-62. Oil on canvas, 72 × 60 in. Private collection. ©2013 Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

This painting is called The Sweet Mystery. Need some clues to solve it? Here, Indiana included four ginkgo leaf shapes joined at the stem and arranged like a mirror image. Below the leaves, he used stencils to spell out the title of the painting. The red and black stripes at the top and bottom of the painting are like danger strips that you might see at railroad tracks or a construction site.

PreviousPauseNext
Try This!
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