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Robert Indiana Prints for Sale

Robert Indiana (1928-2018) was a Pop artist whose bold rendering of the word LOVE became one of the most iconic and recognizable artworks of the 20th century, gracing hundreds of prints, paintings and sculptures.

He was born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, the state after which he changed his name 30 years later. After military service Indiana began his studies in 1949, first at the Art Institute of Chicago and then the Skowhegan School of Sculpture and Painting in Maine, and the Edinburgh College of Art. Eventually he moved to New York. The graphic aspects, aping the conventions of advertising posters and street signs, became dominant in his work

Through his exploration in text art, Indiana created his first LOVE for personal Christmas cards in 1964. Perhaps he sent one to the folks at the Museum of Modern Art. The following year, the museum commissioned him to design a similar Christmas card to be sold in its gift shop. The LOVE card quickly became one of the store’s most popular items. Since he designed the earliest versions, in the 1960s, the logo has acquired a life of its own, appearing on everything from posters and album covers to tshirts and jewelry.

Indiana failed to copyright his LOVE design, so opportunistic copycats began springing up left and right, churning out cheap aluminum paperweights and other baubles that would never earn their true designer a dime. Later, he struggled to gain a patent because trademark courts refused to grant a copyright for a single word.

By 1978, the artist was exhausted by New York and its overwhelming and often hostile art scene. So, he packed up and moved to an isolated island. "LOVE bit me," he confessed in the NPR interview, "It was a marvelous idea, but it was also a terrible mistake. It became too popular; it became too popular.

Indiana’s last years were characterised by erratic, reclusive behaviour. He missed an appointment at the White House with Obama, as well as a planned public appearance outside his own house in 2014. His artistic reputation remained intact, however, and in 2013 he was honoured with a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York.

Robert Indiana