Robert Indiana

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Information

  "There have been many American SIGN painters, but there never were any American sign PAINTERS." This exercise in emphasis sums up Robert Indiana's position in the world of contemporary art. He has taken the everyday symbols of roadside America and made them into brilliantly colored geometric pop art. In his work he has been an ironic commentator on the American scene. Both his graphics and his paintings have made cultural statements on life and, during the rebellious 1960s, pointed political statements as well.


  Born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, in 1928, he adopted the name of his native state as a pseudonymous surname early in his career. During his typically Midwestern boyhood, highway signs had a symbolic importance for him. His father worked for Phillips 66 gas and, when he left his wife and son, he did so down Route #66. And the diner which his mother subsequently operated had the familiar "EAT" sign looming overhead.
Indiana studied first at the Herron School of Art in Indianapolis and then at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica, New York. From there he went to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received a degree in 1953 and won a traveling fellowship to Europe. In 1954, he attended Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art in Scotland.


  Back in America, Indiana settled in the historic Coentes Slip area on the New York waterfront in 1956 and showed his first hard-edged paintings the following year. From the start he worked with bold, contrasting, sometimes clashing, colors that mirror familiar signs along the highways.
A moralist at heart and an admirer of Longfellow, Whitman and Melville, Indiana often wryly prods his viewers. In a billboard4ike triptych dedicated to Melville, for example, he reminds them of Manhattan's past and suggests they walk around the island-city. He also feels a strong kinship with such earlier precisionist painters as Charles Demuth and showed his admiration in The Demuth American Dream No.5 (1963, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto). Although painted in Indiana's own idiom, it was clearly inspired by Demuth's well-known I Saw the Figure 5 in Gold (1928, Metropolitan Museum of Art).


  The American dream has been a recurring theme in Indiana's work, and he has used it to both celebrate and criticize the national way of life. In the midst of all the gaudy, star-spangled color of The American Dream #J (1961, Museum of Modern Art), for instance, he highlights the words "Take All" and "Tilt" as reminders both of Americans' materialism and of the tendency of some to cheat, as they do on pinball machines.
In his paintings and constructions he has given new meaning to such basic words as "Eat", "Die" and "Love" . Using them in bold block letters in vivid colors, he has enticed his viewers to look at the commonplace from a new perspective. One indication of his success was the appearance of his immensely popular multi-colored "Love" on a United States postage stamp in 1973.


  주로 교통표지판이나 가스회사의 상표와 같은 간결 명료한 기하학적 추상형을 보여준다는 면에서 엘즈워스, 켈리 계통의 하드에지파에 속하며, 부드럽고 화려한 구상형의 뉴욕팝과는 다르다.그의 극단적으로 간결하면서도 단순한 표어문자에는 문학적인 상징성이 내포되어 있으며, 서민적인 소탈함이 담겨있다. 예를 들어 “EAT”, “DIE”와 같은 교통표지판과 같은 간결한 패턴에 삽입한 작품을 통해서 ‘먹는다’, ‘죽는다’ 라는 단어의 고유한 의미가 인간에게 일어나게 하는 갖가지 본능적 연상을 추구하는 것이다.

  대표작 “LOVE” (1966)는 문자라는 추상적 매체를 이용하여 분명하고도 구체적이 메시지를 전달하고 있다. 따듯한 붉은색과 차갑지만 강력한 인상을 주는 색채가 서로 대조를 이루면서 보는 이에게 얼마나 강력한 영향을 주는지를 잘 보여준다. 사각형과 격자구도는 안정감이 있으며, 한 문자를 경사지게 하고 색채를 상호 작용하게 함으로써 얻는 효과를 잘 살렸다.

  또 간판, 표지, 상표 등의 상업디자인이 지배하는 현대문화를 인식하고, 미국을 나타내는 문자와 장식을 통해 미국의 꿈과 국민적 일체감을 꾀하려는 그래픽디자이너의 작업방식을 택하여, 현대의 그래픽 디자인이 얼마나 논리적이고 강력한 것이 될 수 있는지를 일목요연하게 보여주는 상징을 만들어 내었다.

그의 “LOVE” 도상은 그 후 캐나다 출신의 세 미술가 그룹인 제너럴 아이디어(General Idea)에 의 해 “AIDS”로 재생되었다.

Profile

Timeline

1928

Born in New Castle, IN

1953–1954

BFA, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1954

Attended Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland on the George Brown Travelling Fellowship

1956

Moved to New York, NY

1964

Appeared in the Andy Warhol film Eat

1970

Recieved Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts Degree from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA

1973

Designed the immensely popular multi-colored "Love" on a United States postage stamp

1977

Awarded Honorary Degree of Doctor of Fine Arts by University of Indiana, Bloomington, IN

1981

Recieved Honorary Doctoral Degree from Colby College, Waterville, ME

2012

Began to collaborate with Contini Art Gallery

Lives and works in Vinalhaven, ME

Exhibitions

2018

Robert Indiana Selected Exhibitions in 2018:
Robert Indiana, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY (solo exhibition)

2017

Robert Indiana Selected Exhibitions in 2017:
Robert Indiana: One Through Zero, Glass House, New Canaan, CT (solo exhibition)
Robert Indiana, Pinacoteca Comunale Casa Rusca, Locarno, Switzerland (solo exhibition)

2016

Robert Indiana Selected Exhibitions in 2016:
Robert Indiana, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M, Bologna, Italy (solo exhibition)
19 Stars of Indiana Art: A Bicentennial Celebration, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN 
200 Years of Indiana Art: A Cultural Legacy, Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, IN
WORD, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill, NY
American pop art: Masterpieces en masse by Robert Rauschenberg to Andy Warhol from the collection of Heinz Beck, Ludwig Galerie Schloss Oberhausen, Germany
The Electric Garden of our Minds: British/American Pop, Springfield Art Museum, Montana

2015

Robert Indiana Selected Exhibitions in 2015:
Robert Indiana: Sign Paintings 1960-65, Craig F Starr Gallery, NY (solo exhibition)
AMOR by Robert Indiana, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Pennsylvania (solo exhibition)
Apparitions: Frottages and Rubbings from 1860 to Now, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Menil Collection, Houston, TX
75 Gifts for 75 Years, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
Del Arte Pop al Posmodernismo, Museo de Arte de El Salvador, San Salvador
Out of the Vault: 25 Years of Collecting, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY
Proportio, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy
Take an Object, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Picasso to Francis Bacon, Hangaram Art Museum, South Korea
Pop Art Design, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL

2014

Robert Indiana Selected Exhibitions in 2014:
Robert Indiana’s Hartley Elegies McNay Art Museun, San Antonio, TX (solo exhibition)
Robert Indiana: The Mother of Us All, McNay Art Museun, San Antonio, TX (solo exhibition)
Celebrating Love!, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME (solo exhibition)
The Essential Robert Indiana, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN (solo exhibition)
From the Swope's Collection: Selected Art Inspired by Literature, Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, IN
Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixtie, Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY; Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH
The Eclectic Sixties, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, TN
Group Exhibition of European and International Paintings and Sculptures, Waddington Custot Galleries, London, England
Pop Art Prints, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
Liebe, Wilhelm-Hack-Museum, Ludwigshafen, Germany
Standing in the Shadows of Love: The Aldrich Collection 1964–1974 Robert Indiana, Robert Morris, Ree Morton, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Smithson, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield, CT
Art Goes Pop: American Pop Art, Lancaster Museum of Art, PA
Encountering Main, Bates College Museum of Art, Lewiston, ME
Pop Art Myths, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain
Pop Art from the Anderson Collection, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, Stanford, CA
Ludwig Goes Pop, Museum Moderne Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Austria
Pop Departures, Seattle Art Museum, WA
Innovations in Painting: Selections from the Collection, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Greensboro, NC
Pop to Popism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

2013

Robert Indiana Selected Exhibitions in 2013:
Indiana by the Numbers, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, IN (solo exhibition)
The Monumental Woods, Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich, Switzerland (solo exhibition)
Robert Indiana: Decade Autoportrait, de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong (solo exhibition)
Robert Indiana: Beyond LOVE, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY (solo exhibition)
Signs from the Sixties: Robert Indiana's Decade, Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH (solo exhibition)
Now Here is Also Nowhere: Part II, Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington, Seattle
Under Pressure: Contemporary Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation, Wichita Art Museum, KS
ABENTEUER KUNST- Highlights der Sammlung Kurt Fried aus dem Ulmer Museum, Stadtgalerie Klagenfurt, Austria
POP Goes the Easel: Pop Art & Its Progeny, Lyman Allyn Art Museum, New London, CT
Love Actually, Seoul Museum, Korea
Op + Pop: Experimente amerikanischer Künstler ab 1960, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Germany
The Pop Object: The Still Life Tradition in Pop Art, Aquavella Galleries, New York, NY
All You Need is LOVE: From Chagall to Kusama and Hatsune Miku, Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
American POP! Selections from the CU Art Museum Collection, Figge Art Museum, Davenport, IA
Rethinking the American Dream, Long-Sharp Gallery, Indianapolis, IN
American Treasures: Maine Voices, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME
190 Jahre Kunstverein Bamberg – Eine Sammlung zeigt ihr Gesicht, Stadtgalerie Bamberg, Villa Dessauer, Germany
Sculpture in the City, London, England
Graphik aus der Sammlung Kemp, Museum Kunstpalast, Düsseldorf, Germany, Farbenfroh
Dialogue with Art, International Museum of Art & Science, McAllen, TX
Correspondents of Ray Johnson, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign
Pop Imagery, Waddington Custot Galleries, London, England
Pop Art/Figuración: Estados Unidos-Venezuela, Centro Cultural BOD-Corp Banca, Caracas, Venezuela
Zeichen. Sprache. Bilder: Schrift in der Kunst seit den 1960er Jahren, Städtische Galerie, Karlsruhe, Germany

2012

Hope, Contini Galleria d'Arte, Venice, Italy
Robert Indiana: Sculptures, Waddington Custot Galleries, London, England
Robert Indiana: New & Classic Works, Rosenbaum Contemporary, Boca Raton, USA

2011

Robert Indiana: Rare Works from 1959 on Coenties Slip, Galerie Gmurzynska, Zürich, Switzerland

2010

Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, Jacksonville, USA

2009

Robert Indiana and the Star of Hope, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, USA (solo)
Sculpture: Post-War to Present, Maxwell Davidson Gallery, New York, USA
Von Picasso bis Warhol, Künstlerschmuck der Avantgarde, Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Cologne, Germany

2008

Pressing Issues, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, USA
Pop and Op, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, USA

2007

Art Market Now, The Columns, Seoul, Korea

2006

Life as a Legend: Marilyn Monroe, Boca Raton Museum of Art, Boca Raton, USA

2005

Made in USA – ausgewählte Graphik, Galerie & Edition Bode GmbH, Nuremberg, Germany
Summer of Love Art of the Psychedelic Era, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, England
Do it yourself - Positionen von den sechziger Jahren bis Heute, Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, Germany
40 Jahre Galerie Thomas, Galerie Thomas, Munich, Germany

2004

Robert Indiana 66: Paintings and Sculpture, Price Tower Arts Center's, Bartlesville, USA

2003

Letters, Words and Numbers, L & M Gallery, New York, USA

1998

Retrospective, Musée D'Art Moderne Contemporain, Nice, France

1991

Prints Retrospective, Susan Sheehan Gallery, New York, USA

1990

Prints as Process, Baxter Gallery at Portland School of Art, USA

1986

Vinalhaven Press 1985-1986, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, USA

1982

Indiana's Indianas: A 25 Year Retrospective of Paintings and Sculptures from the Collection of Robert Indiana, National Museum of Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC

1978

Art about Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

1977

Museum retrospective travels to University Art Museum at University of Texas, Austin; Chrysler Museum, Norfolk; Indianapoilis Museum of Art, Indianapolis; Neuberger Museum at State University of New York, Purchase; Art Center, South Bend, USA

1976

Thirty Years of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, USA

1975

Galerie Denise Rene, New York, USA (solo)
American Art Since 1945, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1972

The Modern Image, High Museum of Art, Atlanta, USA
Galerie Denise Rene, New York, USA (solo)

1970

The Prints and Posters of Robert Indiana, New England tour originates at St. Mary's College, Notre Dame; Colby College of Art Museum, Watervill; Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester; Hopkins Center, Dartmouth College, Hanover; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick; Brandeis University, Waltham, USA

1969

70 Years of American Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

1968

First one-man museum exhibition travels to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Marion Koogler McNay Art Museum, San Antonio; Herron Museum of Art, Toledo, USA
Word and Image, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA

1967

Ninth Sao Paulo Bienal, Sao Paulo, Brazil

1966

LOVE Exhibition, Stable Gallery, New York, USA
1966 Annual Exhibition of Contemporary Sculpture, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA
Galerie Alfred Schmela, Düsseldorf, Germany
Museum Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany

1965

Word and Image, Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA
1965 Annual Exhibition of American Paintings, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, USA

1964

Stable Gallery, New York, USA (solo)

1963

Americans 1963, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
Exhibits with Richard Stankeiwicz at Walker Art Center, Mineapolis; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, USA
New Realists, Sidney Janis Gallery, New York, USA

1962

Stable Gallery, New York, USA (solo)

1961

The Art of Assemblage, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA