Robert Indiana

BIOGRAPHY

Robert Indiana was born in New Castle, Indiana. He moved to New York City in 1954 and joined the pop art movement, using distinctive imagery drawing on commercial art approaches blended with existentialism, that gradually moved toward what Indiana calls "sculptural poems".


In 1962, Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery hosted Robert Indiana's first New York solo exhibition. He has since enjoyed solo exhibitions at over 30 museums and galleries worldwide. Indiana's works are in the permanent collections of numerous museums, including MOMA, NY, 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 of Art, 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, many others.


Indiana's work often consists of bold, simple, iconic images, especially numbers and short words like EAT, HUG, and, his best-known example, LOVE.  In 2008, Indiana created an image similar to his iconic LOVE (letters tacked two to a line, the letter "o" tilted on its side), but this time showcasing the word "HOPE," and has donated all proceeds from the image went to the Democratic National Committee for Barack Obama's presidential campaign. A stainless steel sculpture of HOPE was unveiled outside Denver's Pepsi Center during the 2008 Democratic National Convention. Education: Art Institute of Chicago, 1953.  For Valentine's Day 2011 Indiana created a similar variation on LOVE for Google, which was displayed in place of the search engine site's normal logo.


Other well-known works by Indiana include: his painting the unique basketball court formerly used by the Milwaukee Bucks in that city's U.S. Cellular Arena, with a large M shape taking up each half of the court; his sculpture in the lobby of Taipei 101, called 1-0 (2002, aluminum), using multicoloured numbers to suggest the conduct of world trade and the patterns of human life; and the works he created in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks and exhibited in New York in 2004 called the Peace Paintings.


Indiana has lived as a resident in the island town of Vinalhaven, Maine since 1978. Indiana has been a theatrical set and costume designer, such as the 1976 production by the Santa Fe Opera of Virgil Thomson's The Mother of Us All, based on the life of suffragist Susan B. Anthony. He was the star of Andy Warhol's film Eat (1964), which is a 45- minute film of Indiana eating a mushroom in his SoHo loft.