LOVE Restored in Indiana and Philadelphia

Robert Indiana created the most recognizable image in the history of American Art. His version of LOVE, commissioned by MoMA for a Christmas card in 1965, has appeared on t-shirts, mugs and skateboards around the world.

Indiana didn’t want to spoil the continuity of the design with a signature or copyright notice, so it was easy for others to market. He didn’t earn much from his most iconic work and was criticized for being a sellout by other artists, who may have envied the ubiquity of his creation.

Indiana created his first LOVE sculpture in 1970, which has been on continuous display at the Indiana Museum of Art since 1975. Years of being displayed outdoors caused corrosion to the sculpture. The museum brought the LOVE sculpture indoors, restored it and is now back on display, but it remains in an indoor gallery to prevent any further erosion.

The LOVE sculpture in Philadelphia’s John F. Kennedy Plaza, better known as LOVE Park, is being renovated, along with the rest of the park, and will be back on display in September.

LOVE sculptures grace many parks and plazas around the world, in many languages. Most everyone appreciates their appeal, but not many know their creator. “Everybody knows my LOVE,” Indiana said, in a 1976 interview, “but they don’t have the slightest idea what I look like. I’m practically anonymous.”

The Essence of Robert Indiana’s Prints

The messages in Robert Indiana’s prints are very personal. Not just a visual artist, but also a poet, every word, every combination of colors that he uses, are part of his history.

The bold colors that he combines in his prints were inspired by the Phillips 66 gas station sign, where his father worked. The red and green sign against the blue sky was an early inspiration. He uses the power of single words in his prints, in much the same way as he uses primary colors. “Love is a one word poem,” he said.

Indiana studied printmaking at the Art Institute of Chicago and is one of America’s premier printmakers. He works with fine art workshops in Europe and, closer to home, at Vinalhaven Press, near his island home in Maine.

Robert Indiana Prints at VFA

So many of Robert Indiana’s prints, especially his HOPE poster, (which was unveiled outside the 2008 Democratic National Convention and generated HOPE merchandise, which raised more than $1 million for the campaign), brought a renewed recognition to his art and to the artist. No longer anonymous, the demand for Robert Indiana’s prints has soared.

Please contact us for more information about HOPE and the other Robert Indiana prints available in our gallery.