“There are more signs than trees in America. There are more signs than leaves. So I think of myself as a painter of American landscape.” – Robert Indiana
Robert Indiana was a preeminent figure in American art and the Pop movement in particular. He was an admirer of early 20th century Modernism and reflected in his work on questions of national identity addressed by fellow artists such as Edward Hopper and Marsden Hartley. His work frequently consisted of bold, simple, iconic images, especially of numbers and short words. Robert Indiana made particular use of familiar, industrial, and ordinary motifs to elevate the everyday into high art, which led to his self-proclamation that he was an “American painter of signs.” His works were influenced by issues surrounding American identity, the power of abstraction and line, and events in his personal life. Indiana was deeply concerned with the racial injustices and violence of the deep south, and his political and social engagement was evident throughout his career. His most famous work of art, LOVE, was born out of 1960s counterculture created by opposition to the Vietnam War and the growth of the civil rights movement. LOVE, and Indiana’s wider practise were representational of a quest for the elusive and increasingly tragic American dream.
American, 1928 – 2018.