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Artist

Robert Indiana

Biography

(b. 1928 in New Castle, Indiana, lives and works in Vinalhaven, Maine)

Robert Indiana, a major figure of post-war American art, draws subject matter from the visual vernacular of highway road signs, factory die-cut stencils, and commercial logos while incorporating the cultural heritage of American Modernists such as Charles Demuth and Marsden Hartley. 

After finishing high school, Robert Indiana (born Robert Clark) served for three years in the Air Force and then attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  In 1953, scholarships took him to the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and then on to Scotland, to the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh College of Art, where his activities included studying botany and writing poetry, which he set in type and printed by hand.  He returned to the United States in late 1954 and found a job in an art supplies store on West 57th Street, near the Art Students League.  There he met and made friends with the young Ellsworth Kelly, who in 1956 found him an inexpensive downtown studio at 31 Coenties Slip, a former shipping warehouse near the Brooklyn Bridge. 

The first major break in his career came when The Museum of Modern Art included this work in its 1961 exhibition, "Art of Assemblage."  The second break came the following year, when The Museum of Modern Art purchased his 1961 painting “The American Dream #1.”  That same year, Indiana had his first solo show, at the Stable Gallery.

His canonical sculptures belong to many public and private collections and have been exhibited worldwide. In the fall of 2013, The Whitney Museum of American Art presented a major retrospective of Indiana's work.

 

SELECTED PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Albright-Knox Gallery of Art, Buffalo, New York
Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield, Connecticut
Allentown Museum of Art, Pennsylvania
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
Baltimore Museum of Art, Maryland
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, Delaware
Detroit Institute of Art, Michigan
Farnworth Museum, Rockland, Maine
Fonds National d'Art Contemporain, France
Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington
Indiana University Museum, Bloomington
Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, Indiana
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana
Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, the University of Texas at Austin
Kaiser Wilhelm Museum, Krefeld, Germany
Kranner Art Museum, Champaign Illinois
Los Angeles County Museum, California
Louisiana Museum, Humleback
McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, TX
Menil Collection, Houston, Texas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Museum Ludwig, Koln
Museum Ludwig, Aachen
Museum Ludwig, Vienna
Museum of Modern Art, New York
National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington
New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana
Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine
Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California
Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Arizona
Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai
Sheldon Memorail Art Gallery, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Sintra Museu de Arte Moderno
Stedelijk Museum, Schiedam, The Netherlands
Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Einhoven
Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, Tel-Aviv
The Bertrand Russel Peace Foundation, London
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

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