Robert Indiana is one of the most recognized names in Contemporary and Pop Art, his LOVE sculptures, paintings, and prints are by far his most iconic pieces. It all began in the summer of 1965, when The Museum of Modern Art commissioned Indiana to design its Christmas card. He submits LOVE in four color possibilities; the museum selects the red, blue, and green version. In 1967 he produces three serigraphs of LOVE, and two serigraphs of LOVE Wall. During the next two years, produces other serigraph variations on LOVE, with more following in 1972, 1973, 1975, 1982, and 1991. Indiana’s LOVE motif has since been translated into a US postage stamp as well as numerous large-scale steel sculptures across the world. In September 2013, the Whitney Museum of American Art hosted the artist’s first retrospective in New York, “Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE.”
Robert “Indiana” was born Robert Earl Clark in New Castle, Indiana, September 13, 1928. Soon thereafter, he is taken to Richmond, Indiana, to live with caretakers until his adoption by Earl Clark and Carmen Watters Clark, who resided in Indianapolis. The Clark family moved and travelled extensively in Robert’s youth, “Indiana” recalls moving 21 times in the first 19 years of his life. He was a relatively sickly child but was able to thrive, throughout his school-years, Robert has several small successes in his artistic and scholastic endeavors. He received a Scholastic Art and Writing Award to attend the John Herron Art Institute; he chooses instead to enlist in the U.S. Army Air Corps, his years in the military is when Robert adopted his name Robert “Indiana”. After being discharged from the Army, Indiana enters the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, graduating in 1954. That same year, with the encouragement of his friend Ellsworth Kelly, Indiana moves to New York City, living in close proximity to other notable artists of the time: Agnes Martin, Jack Youngerman, and James Rosenquist to name a few. Over the following decades, the artist’s combination of hard-edge painting and Pop Art became increasingly important to the trajectory of contemporary art. The artist currently lives and works in Vinalhaven, ME. Today, his works are held in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Tate Gallery in London, and the National Gallery in Washington, D.C., among others.