*1928 in New Castle, USA
†2018 in Vinalhaven, USA
Robert Indiana was a painter, sculptor and printmaker who drew upon the American landscape of signs and language. Indiana’s influential configuration of Pop art involved his manipulation of words and advertisements in brightly-colored, hard-edge abstraction. Born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, the artist uprooted and settled in New York in 1954 at Coenties Slip, a shipyard in Lower Manhattan which played host to a close-knit bohemian group of artists. His first artworks utilized reclaimed wood and maritime debris from the Slip, which he stenciled with arbitrary phrases. He turned to painting in the early 1960s and had his first solo exhibition at Stable Gallery in 1962, where his bold canvases of simple phrases delighted critics. Further experiments in signification lead him to appropriate numbers, which were highlighted at documenta IV in 1968. His best-known series ‘LOVE’ began out of a Christmas card commissioned by MoMA in 1965, which has since been realized in paintings, prints, sculptures, rings and stamps. In 1978 he left New York to settle on the remote island of Vinalhaven off the coast of Maine, where he maintained a productive studio until he passed away in 2018. Indiana’s artworks are held by many internationally-leading museums, including Tate Britain, London; Art Institute Chicago; Brooklyn Museum, New York; and the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC.