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Robert Indiana

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Natalie Cunzolo

on 10 September 2013

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Transcript of Robert Indiana

Robert Indiana
The Artist
The Artwork
The Artists World
The Audience
Artists Practice
Annotated Bibliography
-Robert Indiana was born on the 13th September 1928 in Newcastle
-His artistic talent was evident at an early age and was recognized by a first grade teacher who encouraged his decision to become an artist
-1942 moved to Indianapolis to attend Arsenal Technical High School, known for its arts curriculum
-1953-1954 Received a degree from the School of the Art Institute Of Chicago
-1954 attended the Edinburgh College Of Art in Scotland
-1956 moved to New York, where he became part of the POP Art Movement
-Robert Indiana quickly gained a reputation as one of the most creative artists of his generation
-Began painting geometric, hardedge style, blending commercial art
-While in New York he worked with artist Andy Warhol creating Eat, a film of Indiana eating a mushroom
-1962 his first New York solo exhibition at the Eleanor Ward's Stable Gallery
-From this began his long career of showcasing his works in over 30 museums and galleries
-1964 created his iconic LOVE sculpture
-1978 he chose to remove himself from the New York art world and settled on a remote island

L & M Arts . 2006. L & M Arts . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.lmgallery.com/artists/robert-indiana/. [Accessed 02 September 13].
This site was created by owners of an art gallery which showed to have a good biography of Robert Indiana. I used part of the information given about his life and gathered other information from other sites to form his biography.
-In 1956, two years after moving to New York, he met the artist Ellsworth Kelly who recommended him to live in Coenties Slip. There he joined a community of artists including Agnes Martin, James Rosenquist and Jack Youngerman who impacted his work.

Like some of his fellow artists he scavenged the areas, abandoned old warehouses for materials, creating sculptures from old wooden beams, rusted metal wheels and other remnants of the shipping trade whilst living in Coenties Slip
While he created hanging works the majority were freestanding constructions produced in the form of silkscreen prints and limited edition sculptures.
The discovery of 19th century brass stencils led to the incorporation of brightly coloured numbers and short emotional words onto sculptures aswell as canvases which became the basis of his new paintings.

Love is a subject of great spiritual significance for the artist, he said "the reason that i became so involved with LOVE is that it is so much a part of the peculiar American Environment, particularly in my own background, God is love is spelled out in every church"
Initially he experimented with composition of stacked letters, then turned this design into different hard-edged colour variations on canvas.
He came to realise that screenprint was the ideal medium for his painting
The images popularity has large and diverse audiences and has become an icon of modern art appearing in paintings, sculptures, prints and rings. Because LOVE was not copyrighted, he has failed to profit from the thousands of reproductions made from it.
When he moved to the remote island Vinalhaven he turned to themes that related to his local experience. He also used found objects to create scultpures, his works reflected his new surroundings while also making reference to his past.
In addition to being a painter and sculptor he created a significant number of prints aswell as many other works of graphic art. He also designed a stage set and costumes for an opera. He has created other unique projects such as a design for a basketball court
He created bold, hard-edged and visually dazzling compositions, he used words, phrases and numbers to explore themes of American identity,racial injustice and love
-Joining his interest with elements of signs, he visualized paintings characterized by flat bright colours and clearly defined contours which were influenced by the hard-edge paintings by friends such as Ellsworth Kelly and Jack Youngerman
Indiana’s attention to American themes, use of vibrating bright colour and simple formal configurations and shaped canvases marked him as one of the central figures of American Pop art.

He combined the simple Roman numerals and letters found in American roadside bars and cafés to address serious social issues
-Following the example of Jasper Johns, Indiana used words in emblems, one painting includes stencilled words within each side of a pentagon- EAT, USA, ERR, DIE and HUG.
-Indiana was equally drawn to philosophical themes from the writings of American authors such as Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, William Carlos and Hart Crane,

MoMa. 2007. MoMA The collection . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=2812. [Accessed 07 September 13].
This site proved to be reliable the information was directly from artists over the world. From this website i found three of Robert Indianas artworks and saved the images to incorporate into the presentation to show his style and technique. From this site i was able to collate the essential information of the artworks.
Indiana studied various printmaking techniques at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, but later settled on screenprinting, a medium that suited his simplified forms and electric colors.

His handcrafted art drew more from his youth than from consumer culture. The colors, numbers, and shapes in his art symbolized or commemorated events and people from his life.

Indiana's style was more intimate and personal than many of his Pop peers.
Art movement
Pop Art - Hardedge painting

The aspect of numbers, played a big part in Indianas life, he regarded them as the basic elements structuring our daily lives
He distinguished himself from his pop peers by addressing important social and political issues and incorporating historical and literary references in his works
During the time of his 'Love' painting he wanted to release an unlimited edition of the image, making it affordable to the widest public. He produced this using a more economical printer

Indiana's style as a graphic designer uses flat, posterish manipulation of words, symbols, colours and spaces - positive and negative. His designs bounce off one other in dynamic relationships as they comment on the ups and downs of American life, including his own.
New York Times. 1999. Art review- Robert Indianas Career . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/27/arts/art-review-robert-indiana-s-career-love-and-american-style.html. [Accessed 31 August 13].
This article included information particularly on Robert Indianas LOVE sculputre. I utilised some of this information to explain the composition and meaning behind the artwork. Their was also some information on Indianas art style and technique, but it was limited so i used other websites to complete this area of work.
Wood Beam with iron-rimmed wheels, white paint and concrete
-watercolour on paper
My cousin's general store in Bean Blossom
Indiana says his cycle of paintings came after he watched the World Trade Center collapse. "I went home immediately after that," he says. "I painted American flags on the front of my house."
Robert Indiana says his subject matter is autobiographical, its his life in America, in Indiana, in New York and in Maine
Robert Indiana believes that his life has been one long series of fateful connections and coincidences.
Robert Indiana remembers growing up desperately poor, his family devastated by the depression. He was so poor he scrounged whatever he could to work.He stole wood to paint on when he didn't have money for canvas.
CBS News . 1999. Artist trapped by Love. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-3445_162-651055.html. [Accessed 31 August 13].
This news site was able to give me information that many of the other sites didn't have and this included what he thought about numbers, how LOVE isn't copyrighted and other personal information that was good to include into the assignment. Information i found from this site was included in various aspects of the assignment, but mostly in the 'Artists World' section.

He had a passion for art from a very young age and was convinced by his year 1 teacher that he would one day become a well known artist.
"Some people like to paint trees," he said. "I like to paint love. I find it more meaningful than painting trees." This is his way of connecting with his audience.
He found some old brass letter stencils when he moved his art studio into an old warehouse. The stencils inspired him to use words in his paintings, and he likes painting letters that look as if they've been printed.
Robert Indiana thinks that most people never stop to think about how beautiful words and numbers are he says that he thinks his job as an artist is to make words and numbers very, special. Robert Indiana tries to make everyday symbols which make a cultural statement on life for his audience to stop and appreciate.
People who appreciate Indianas work have plenty of opportunities to do so including his public sculptures like LOVE in New York and the masses of commercialized work that has been created.
Galleries tend to be focused on the commercial side and the things they can sell.
His image of love is continually reproduced on posters, mugs and key chains which appeals to a large audience, but he could of got more recognition if he put a trademark on the image.
When Indiana decided to use HOPE it became a phenomenal market success including a fundraising tool for the Obama campaign.
He found a series of copper moulds for numbers and letters that had belonged to a shipping line. He then used them gradually adding stars, circles, arrows and signs.

His aim was to illustrate the day-to-day life of his country
Ideas came from game machines, shop signs and from urban and street signage.
His circles with stars symbolise the ‘bumpers’ and ‘targets’ found on pinball machines
He had discovered pinball machines and jukeboxes in the cafes where his mother worked. With these themes and his approach to them he quickly became one of the central figures of the New York pop art movement
The American Dream, from 1961, shows a composition with four circles within a square each circle contains a sign, a star, a letter which was taken from pinball, the word TILT recurs frequently, as do the words EAT, DIE, ERR, HUG, and the five-pointed star from the national flag and the numbers of several important American highways
Museu Berardo. 1923. Robert Indiana . [ONLINE] Available at: http://en.museuberardo.pt/collection/artists/263. [Accessed 26 September 13].
This was a very detailed site which assisted me in the area of 'Artists Practice'. I was able to gather most of my information for this section, so alot of information was used from this site.
Cultural Frame- the artist has developed subject matter from the cultural environment
Subjective frame-motive qualities and has used elements and principles to convey feelings and personal responses for the audience
Structural frame- form, media, techniques and how the work is composed is of importance to the artist

Indianas work is continually being appropriated by various audiences some people doing it just for fun and others who spend quality time to produce a similar work
about.com. 1909. indiana bio. [ONLINE] Available at: http://arthistory.about.com/cs/nameii/p/indiana.htm. [Accessed 03 September 13].
This site explained the artists practice, how he went about doing his work. I used points that also explained his life.
Full transcript