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Details & Cataloguing

Contemporary Art Day Auction

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London

Robert Indiana
1928 - 2018
AMOR
stamped with the artist's signature, dated 1998 and numbered 4/6 on the outside of the R
painted aluminium
104 by 96.5 by 50.8 cm. 40 7/8 by 38 by 20 in.
Executed in 1998, this work is number 4 from an edition of 6.
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Provenance

Morgan Art Foundation, Switzerland (acquired directly from the artist)
ACC, Lugano
Acquired from the above by the present owner

Exhibited

Cortina d'Ampezzo, FarsettiArte, Robert Indiana. Da LOVE ad AMOR, August 2009
Leila Heller Gallery, New York, Pop Sculpture / Pop Culture, September - November 2014
Bologna, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M.Robert Indiana, January - March 2016
Bologna, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M., Trasversale ma universale. Artisti del XX e XXI seolo a confronto, April - June 2016 
Rome, Palazzo del Bramante; and Milan, Palazzo della Permanente, LOVE. L'arte contemporanea incontra l'amore, September 2016 - February 2017 

Literature

Danilo Eccher, LOVE. Contemporary Art Meets Amour, Rome 2016, p. 304, illustrated in colour 

Catalogue Note

Robert Indiana’s iconic word sculptures are among the most recognisable works of modern art. Their two-row renderings of words, with their tilted ‘O’s, combine bold typographic design with alluring colour combinations, constructed without flaw. AMOR extends the spirit of his LOVE sculpture into a new language, a new territory, proving that Indiana’s sculptures are not just symbols of America, but of the world.

Indiana arrived at his high-impact graphic vocabulary during the late 1950s, working in the derelict studios of Coenties Slip at the southern tip of Manhattan. It was here, in the company of Agnes Martin, James Rosenquist and Ellsworth Kelly, that Indiana reacted against the extreme introversion and existential angst prevalent in Abstract Expressionism to form an art that reflected the geometry of the city. His discovery of commercial stencils in the deserted studio loft would go on to provide the matrix and format for all his future painting and sculpture, feeding an obsessive fascination with text, pinball machines and the commercial signage that covered the urban landscape. Indiana's attention to American themes, use of vibrating, contrasting colours and simple formal configurations quickly marked him as one of the central figures of the Pop art movement. His ‘one-word poems’ took sculptural form in the sixties; in an era dominated by the fight for civil rights, nuclear disarmament and the Vietnam war, Indiana’s sculptures became an emblem of the 1960s idealism, a symbol of love in the wake of fear.

AMOR is particularly symbolic of Indiana’s youth: the blazing red acts as a homage to the Phillips 66 gasoline company (his father’s place of work during the Great Depression) and the pristine blue reflects the expansive mid-western skies. The present work shares the aesthetic characteristics of roadside signs and signals that Indiana witnessed in his childhood; these signs became a fixation for the artist, who admired their ability to encapsulate intangible meanings, desires, and emotions in a straightforward and accessible presentation. Indiana’s striking sculptures stand as shrines to the achievements of our contemporary world, reminding us of our links to one another, despite differences in politics, sexuality and religion. 

Contemporary Art Day Auction

|
London