ROBERT INDIANA (New Castle, Indiana, USA, 1938 - Vinalhaven, Maine, USA, 2018).
Handmade woolen tapestry.
Size: 241 x 241 cm.
Robert Indiana is one of the preeminent figures of the American art scene since the 1960s, being the leader of the development of the assemblage technique, and of the Hard Edge, and American Pop Art movements. Indiana studied at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and also at the Edinburgh School of Art. Aside from being a painter, Robert Indiana has been a theatrical and costume set and costume designer, in productions such as Santa Fe Opera's The Mother of Us All, and acted in the film Eat directed by Andy Warhol.
He proclaimed himself as "the American painter of signs" and throughout his long career he explored, and at the same time constructed, the American identity through diverse iconography.
His particular visual language, which could be defined as 'lyricism', marked by slogans such as HUG, EAT and the famous "LOVE". It has become the emblem that continues to unite many artistic generations and is now part of the collective unconscious worldwide.
The iconic LOVE series, recognized by LO and VE stacked one on top of the other and arranged in a square, and to which our piece belongs, was first used in a set of poems written in 1958. Then, in the summer of 1965, MoMA commissioned Indiana to design Christmas cards, ultimately approving this red, blue and green design. Its true semantic translation is deeply linked to Christianity and the artist's childhood, educated according to the Church of Christ, Scientist. In an epistolary with collector Larry Aldrich, Indiana shares that there was a phrase 'God is Love' written by the founder of this church, Mary Baker Eddy, which was an unofficial motto of Scientist Christianity. From this was born the idea of higher love that Indiana ultimately wanted to convey through all of his work from the 1960s until his death. In 2008 Indiana created a very similar image for Barack Obama's presidential campaign, in which this symbol was used for various propaganda items.
The tapestry presented in our auction, although not the artist's most common technique, ultimately conveys the essence of his entire oeuvre and iconography.
Robert Indiana had hundreds of solo and group exhibitions worldwide. Particularly in Spain he exhibited three times, in 1992 at the Galería 57, in 2009 at the Galería Barcelona, and finally in 2012 at the Museo de Pasión in Valladolid.