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Lot 3716* - A191 Prints & Multiples - Saturday, 07. December 2019, 10.00 AM


(New Castle 1928–2018 Vinalhaven)
The Book of Love. 1996.
Portfolio with 12 colour screenprints and 12 poems, also with the imprint. 50/200. Signed and dated in pencil lower right: R. Indiana'86. Image 46 x 46.5 cm on A.N.W. Crestwood Museum Edition Paper 61 x51 cm. Poems also numbered and signed in pencil: R. Indiana. Published by American Image Editions, New York. Printed by Freeman Burks. Complete, but without portfolio.

Catalogue raisonné: No longer in Sheehan.

“In a sense I got down to the subject matter of my work, to its bare bones: the subject is defined by its expression in the work itself. I mean LOVE is purely a skeleton of all that work has meant in all the erotic and religious aspects of the theme … It was really a matter of distillation.” Robert Indiana

Along with Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Indiana belonged to the first generation of Pop artists. Unlike these two, however, his focus was the cultural identity of America, and most of all he was interested in the relationship between individual and national identity and the socio-political changes of the 1960s. He described himself as the “American painter of signs”.

Probably one of his most famous motifs is the word LOVE, which is also central to the present portfolio. He first used this motif in 1966 in the colour combinations of blue, red and green. He soon moved away from this fixed colour combination, and used, as the present complete portfolio shows, the most strikingly diverse colour combinations. These 12 prints are complemented by 12 poems: such a complete state is extremely rare. For Indiana himself the word LOVE was like a poem – he left it open as to whether it is a verb or a subject, a command or a feeling.

As early as 1964 Robert Indiana created a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, with the word LOVE, but he did not add his copyright on the back of the card, so that according to copyright law of the time, he did not have exclusive access to this typeface.

Despite, or perhaps because of this, Indiana’s LOVE has become one of the icons of the 20th century.

CHF 80 000 / 140 000 | (€ 80 000 / 140 000)

Sold for CHF 134 500 (including buyer’s premium)
All information is subject to change.