Robert Indiana 1928–2018
My goal is that LOVE should cover the world. – Robert Indiana
On May 19, 2018, the day before Robert Indiana died, a New York-based copyright holder filed a lawsuit, accusing Indiana’s caretaker and a New York-based art publisher of taking advantage of the artist. A settlement was reached a few weeks ago that could open the way for Indiana’s Maine island home to become a museum.
Millions of dollars have been spent on litigation in the past three years related to Indiana’s estate, causing the state attorney general’s office to demand an accounting of the estate’s spending.
The bickering is a far cry from the LOVE icon that Indiana created in 1965 for a Museum of Modern Art Christmas Card.
After his death, at age 89, the curators at the Smithsonian went through their archives and found, among other things, touching stories of the life of the shy, seclusive artist. They also uncovered an early version of the Christmas LOVE card, which he sent to Dorothy Miller, the Museum of Modern Art’s curator in 1964, the year before he was commissioned to create the design for the card that became an icon.
In 2008, Indiana took the four letter word HOPE and created a series of prints for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, which raised over $1 million.
Unique monoprints of Robert Indiana’s HOPE are available at VFA.
Ed Ruscha 1937 – present
When you’re on a highway, viewing the western U.S. with the mountains and the flatness and the desire and all that, it’s very much like my paintings. – Ed Ruscha
Ed Ruscha jokingly calls himself a “twenty-five year overnight sensation.”
He was born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ruscha traveled to California to attend the California Institute of Arts and was immediately drawn to life in L.A. His work was popular in the 1960s and he was part of many exhibits, along with other Pop artists, but it wasn’t until the late 1980s, when Japanese collectors began to enter the contemporary art market, that demand for his work began to soar.
Ruscha currently has an exhibit at the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Many of the paintings, photographs and books in the exhibit were done in the 1960s, when he traveled from California to visit his family back in Oklahoma. Ed Ruscha: Travel Log will be on display through May 30, 2021.
His work is also on display at the Oklahoma Contemporary in Oklahoma City. Ed Ruscha: OKLA, examines the influence that Oklahoma had on the artist’s style.The show will run through July 5, 2021.
Ed Ruscha is still painting and drawing, at age 83, in a concrete-built house in the California desert, which he had designed by Frank Gehry in 1976.
Taylor Dafoe. A Battle in the Legal War Over Robert Indiana’s Legacy Ends as His Estate Settles With the Artist’s Longtime Representative. artnet news. March 8, 2021.
Village Soup.Knox. Farnsworth announces historic bequest of 27 major Wyeth works from Betsy Wyeth. April 16, 2021.
Associated Press. Agreement could free Robert Indiana’s estate from lawsuit. March 5, 2021.
Editorial Staff. Robert Indiana’s Former Home May Become a Museum, and Other News. Surface Magazine. March 10, 2021.May 30, 2018.
Elizabeth Botten. Archives Reveal Touching Stories on the Life of Robert Indiana, the Man Who Invented “LOVE”. Smithsonian Magazine.
Harriet Lloyd-Smith. Ed Ruscha’s nostalgic ode to Oklahoma. Wallpaper Magazine. April 2021.
Letha Ch’ien. ‘Ed Ruscha: Travel Log’ at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art is a rewarding American trip. San Francisco Chronicle. April 7, 2021.