Pop Art Hero and Artist of ‘LOVE’ Robert Indiana Dies at 89

artnet News | Eileen Kinsella

Robert Indiana, a towering figure in the American Pop art movement whose LOVE sculpture became one of the most reproduced works of art of the Modern era, has died at the age of 89. Indiana, whose real last name was Clark, was already enjoying critical and market success when he debuted his LOVE series at the Stable Gallery in New York in 1964. That same year, Indiana’s work was shown alongside that of Andy Warhol at the World’s Fair in Queens.

But that simple, four-letter sculpture would go on to overshadow the rest of the artist’s oeuvre and prompted some critics to dismiss him as a one-trick pony. Indeed, the fact that this image made him world-famous was something of a double-edged sword. While LOVE was reproduced on 330 million postage stamps, allowing Indiana’s art to travel the world, it was also reconfigured in countless other forms that he never authorized—or profited from. His lawyer told the New York Times that Indiana died on Saturday of respiratory failure. Just one day earlier, a licensing company that had worked with Indiana for years filed a lawsuit against a competing art dealer and the artist’s caretaker for allegedly isolating the artist and producing unauthorized reproductions of his work…read more

Image: Robert Indiana’s LOVE (1970) at Newfields. Image courtesy of Newfields.