Conceived in 1966 and executed in 1999, this work is number 6 from an edition of 6, plus 4 artist's proofs.
Morgan Art Foundation (acquired directly from the artist)
Waddington Galleries, London
Acquired by the present owner from the above
London,Waddington Galleries, Robert Indiana: Paintings and Sculpture 1961-2003, September - October 2004 (illustrated in color)
Tate Liverpool; Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt; Kunsthalle Wien, Summer of Love: Art of the Psychedelic Era, May 2005 – September 2006, p. 122, illustrated in color (another example exhibited)
As with Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans, Robert Indiana's LOVE is perhaps the most iconic image associated with the Pop Art Movement and is among the best known of his subjects. Since having been invited by the MoMA in 1965 to design their annual Christmas card, Indiana's LOVE has become a cultural icon. As an autobiographical artist, the image of LOVE originated from his own Christian Scientist background. With the words 'God is Love' spelled out in every church, Indiana chose to isolate the four letter word and present it in a different form, one which he made his own and subsequently extended into a three dimensional sculptural format.
Inviting the viewer to participate physically with the work the iconic four letter stacked composition is a truly powerful and immediate vehicle of signification and meaning. Several variations have been installed both publicly and privately and continue to inspire viewers all over the world. As seen in this stunning example the red/violet LOVE is language at giant scale. Vibrant and dynamic, the dazzling color combination draws attention immediately. As the O tilts to the side, there is a definite sense of visual movement. Having acquired a heightened sense of color from his mentor and close friend, Ellsworth Kelly, Indiana's arrangement of color combinations become part of his story. LOVE is a fixture in the art of Robert Indiana, as he himself has admitted that while "some people like to paint trees, I like to paint love. I find it more meaningful than paintings trees," (Joachim Pissarro, John Wilmerding and Robert Pincus-Witten, Robert Indiana, New York, 2006, p. 59).
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