Artist

Robert Indiana

born New Castle, IN 1928-died Vinalhaven, ME 2018
Also known as
  • Robert Clark
Born
New Castle, Indiana, United States
Died
Vinalhaven, Maine, United States
Active in
  • New York, New York, United States
Nationalities
  • American
Biography
Robert Indiana was orphaned at birth and adopted as an infant by Earl and Carmen Clark. His childhood was tumultuous, as his family moved twenty-one times before his parents divorced when he was a teenager. Indiana was determined to pursue art, and chose to serve in the US Army Air Corps at the age of seventeen in order to attend the Art Institute of Chicago on the GI Bill following his service. After completing his degree, he moved to Lower Manhattan, where he lived and worked with several other artists. In 1958 he began using Indiana as his last name because he felt Clark was too common, and he wanted to copy Renaissance artists whose last names were the names of their towns. He is best known for his iconic 1966 Love sculpture and related prints, on which the widely distributed US postage stamp is based. In 1975, Indiana moved from New York to Vinalhaven, Maine, where he continues to live and work.

Exhibitions

Media - 1966.29.23 - SAAM-1966.29.23_1 - 2177
Pop Art Prints
March 20, 2014August 30, 2014
In the 1950s and 1960s, pop art offered a stark contrast to abstract expressionism, then the dominant movement in American art. The distinction between high art and popular culture was assumed until artists like Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol and others of their generation challenged a whole range of assumptions about what fine art should be. When pop art emerged on the art scene, it was eagerly embraced by an enthusiastic audience. The artists became celebrities and demand for their work was high. One reason they turned to prints was to satisfy this demand. They favored commercial techniques such as screenprinting and lithography with which they could produce bright colors and impersonal, flat surfaces. As editioned multiples, prints were more widely available and affordable than unique works of art, and pop art imagery was readily reproduced in the popular press.