Robert Indiana is an American artist, most notably associated with the pop art movement. Robert Indiana was born as Robert Clark, on September 13, 1928 in New Castle, Indiana. His preferred media included paper (silk screen) and Cor-ten steel structures.
Robert Indiana lived a tumultuous life in his early years, which was full of changes. He spent the first 17 years of his life frequently moving to and from different cities in Indiana. In fact, it has been reported that he lived in 21 different houses. His parents divorced, at which point Indiana returned to Indianapolis to live with his father, and where he attended Arsenal Technical High School.
After graduating from high school in 1946, Robert Indiana spent three years in the United States Army Air Forces. Once he was out of the military, Indiana went on to study at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1949 until 1953. After leaving the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953, Indiana studied at the renowned Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, located in Maine, during the summer of 1953. Between 1953 and 1954, Indiana left for Scotland, where he studied at Edinburgh University and the Edinburgh College of Art. After Edinburgh, Indiana returned to the United States, where he brought his newfound techniques and talents. Upon his return to the United States, Indiana found himself in New York, where he settled down and began to further develop his style, which was becoming more and more known as being “hard edge.”
Indiana’s works more often than not consist of bold, strong and straightforward images, often of letters or short words, such as “HUG” or “EAT.” Perhaps his most well known work was “LOVE,” which he originally completed for the Museum of Modern Art’s Christmas card in 1965. This work was the basis of the United States Postal Service’s widely distributed “LOVE” stamp in 1973, meaning that people from all over the United States immediately became aware of Robert Indiana’s work, whether they realized it or not.
Robert Indiana Artwork
Some of Robert Indiana’s most well known works include the following:
- His EAT series
- His sculpture in the lobby of Taipai 101 called 1-0
- His Peace Paintings, which he created in the days following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States
- His painting of the basketball court that was formerly used by the Milwaukee Bucks in Milwaukee’s MECCA Arena
- His LOVE series
Robert Indiana also focused on a series of 18 canvases that were inspired by the numbers and shapes of the war motifs, created by Marsden Hartley in Berlin between the years of 1913 and 1915. Indiana also dabbled in other artistic media, including theatrical set design and costume design.
Today, the works of Robert Indiana are on display in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the following: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Farnsworth Art Museum and Gallery, Rockland, Maine; Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, The Netherlands; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, Allentown, Pennsylvania; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan; Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland; Brandeis Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C.; Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana; and the Los Angeles County Museum, California, among many others.
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