Robert Indiana was born Robert Clark in 1932, but as an adult took the name of his home state as his surname. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture before settling in New York in 1954. He soon gravitated toward the elements of signage and daily ephemera that would become hallmarks of Pop Art and that would establish his place in the movement.
Indiana developed a bold vocabulary of emblematic words and numbers, often rendered in a crisply graphic style that emulated the strong contours and clear colors of commercial signage. Concerned with philosophy and literature, he developed a numerical system to represent the spectrum of existence, and he initially created his famous Love painting and sculptures as a way to explore the spiritual meaning of the letters.
He enjoyed critical success from early in his career and became a key figure in Pop Art, regularly exhibiting in major shows of the period, starring in an Andy Warhol film, and
designing costumes and stage sets. In 1978, he left New York to settle in Vinalhaven, an island off the coast of Maine. His work is included in most major collections of American art.
Indiana's works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, The Netherlands; Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; 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; and the Los Angeles County Museum, California, among many others.
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