Exhibition dates: April 9 – August 13, 2017
Galerie Gmurzynska is pleased to announce Robert Indiana’s retrospective at the Pinacoteca Comunale Casa Rusca in Locarno. The retrospective in Locarno follows after major surveys at the Whitney Museum in New York as well as the State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg. Many of the most important works from Robert Indiana’s oeuvre that have been rarely seen will be on display in Locarno, including major canvases and sculptures.
Robert Indiana rose to prominence in the early 1960s as a key protagonist of the emerging Pop Art movement. Renowned for his use of audacious colors in his own striking interpretation of hard-edge painting, Indiana’s work draws on a multitude of visual vernaculars encompassing the high and the low. Merging literary sources with the signage system unique to the American commercial landscape, Indiana’s work represents a simultaneously broad yet also autobiographically coded pictorial language derived from these signifiers. Thus, dialectically Robert Indiana merges formal simplification together with high intellectual complexity.
Indiana’s most widely known work is his unique word-image LOVE. It was first conceived for The Museum of Modern Art’s, New York Christmas card in 1965. A stamp released that same year bearing the same motif became a bestseller, while LOVE would soon garnish innumerable pieces and media of various measures and forms across the globe, spreading Indiana’s universal message in the most democratic and powerful way art is capable of.
This exhibition at the Museo Casa Rusca investigates the artist’s production from the 1950s on the basis of about 60 works, when he went to New York and moved into a loft in the port area of Coenties Slip. In addition to the first large scale abstract paintings the exhibition will showcase the rare and early assemblages titled “herms”, which were made out of materials such as ship masts, wooden boards, metal parts and rusty wheels as well as rare canvases from the sixties and seventies, sculptures including the famous LOVE up until recent creations, in which the topics of his research are translated into ideograms.
Indiana’s multi-faceted work continues to be exhibited widely, most recently at his first retrospective in Russia at the State Russian Museum in St. Petersburg as well as in the critically acclaimed Pop art exhibits Ludwig Goes Pop touring the Ludwig Museum Cologne, the MUMOK Vienna and the Ludwig Múzeum Budapest.
Galerie Gmurzynska has mounted several expansive exhibitions of Indiana’s work and published extensive catalogues, notably “Robert Indiana: Rare Works from 1959 on Coenties Slip” (2011), “Robert Indiana: The Monumental Woods” (2013) as well as the extensive catalogue “To Russia with LOVE” accompanying the State Russian Museum retrospective featuring rare archival images and texts
The Robert Indiana survey at Pinacoteca Comunale Casa Rusca, Locarno will be accompanied by a comprehensive catalog including numerous images, an essay and an interview with the artist.
Pinacoteca Comunale Casa Rusca, Locarno
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