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Love Robert Indiana, Research Proposal Example

Pages: 1

Words: 369

Research Proposal

Robert Indiana, originally Robert Clark, was born on September 23, 1928 in New Castle, Indiana. Robert studied at different art schools (in Indianapolis, in Utica, at the Chicago Art Institute School, at the Skowhgan School of Painting and Sculpture, Maine), due to several relocations of his family. In 1954, he settled in New York and joined the Pop art movement. Since his first solo exhibition (1962) in Stable Gallery, Robert Indiana has been repeatedly invited to exhibit all over the world.

The traffic signs, popular brands, commercial templates inspired his early art. In 1960s, Indiana made himself known by his personal style employing iconic images, numbers, or short words (HUG, EAT, DIE, LOVE) in posters, silk screens, and sculpture. The most known of his themes was LOVE.  Initially, LOVE was created for a Christmas card for the MOMA in 1964. Later, in 1973 the image was distributed on postage stamps (300 million); thus, providing Indiana’s logo with inevitable recognizability.

The trade name LOVE was preceded by the oil painting 4-Star Love, a part of small-scale canvases (12 x 11 1/8 inches). These works of art were executed in 1961. The position is similar to the famous design of LOVE canvas. Four stars ironically indicate the quality of love, as ranking of hotels.

One of the most significant transient themes in Robert Indiana’s art is the American Dream. He began to create the American Dream paintings in 1961 and continued to develop the theme during next decades. The American Dream has gained many forms: literary canvases (The Calumet (1961); political paintings (The Confederacy: Alabama (1965); auto-portraits and identity investigations (The Metamorphosis of Norma Jean Mortenson (1963-1967).

Unlike, many of his colleagues representing the Pop art, Robert Indiana did not focus solely on consumer culture and mass media. His works relate to Pop art in their simple sign-like form (square, diamond like); Indiana calls himself a “sign painter”. Nevertheless, they prove his interest and indifference to urgent social topics. Indiana’s art makes spectators think of national identity, cultural processes, war and peace. His diamond-shaped canvases with deep phrases “Peace falls in terror”, “Peace plunges in despair” respond to horrifying events of September 11, 2001. They affect with contracting colors, sharp lines, and centered block-lettered slogans.

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