Robert Indiana Love Print is Indiana’s most well known image – arranged in a square with a tilted letter “O”. The image first appeared in a series of poems originally written in 1958, in which Indiana stacked LO and VE on top of one another, then in paintings such as 4-STAR LOVE (1961) and “Love is God” (1964).
Art historian Susan Elizabeth Ryan reveals that in 1964, “LOVE” actually had a “more explicit four-letter word – beginning with F, and with a second letter, a U, intriguingly tilted to the right.” Robert Indiana and Ellsworth Kelly, who were in a relationship, had been working on word paintings. Ryan adds “The two men were in the habit of exchanging postcard-size sketches, with Mr. Kelly laying down fields of colour and Mr. Indiana adding large words atop the abstractions.”
The red/green/blue LOVE was first created for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in 1964. In an interview Robert Indiana said “It was the most profitable Christmas card the museum ever published.”]
Indiana said he was inspired to use these colours because his father used to work at a Phillips 66 gas station whose colours were green and red. Robert Indiana described the original colours as “the red and green of that sign against the blue Hoosier sky”. It is also believed that the colours were inspired also by the paintings Red Blue Green (1963) of Kelly.
Per Robert Indiana, “Ellsworth Kelly introduced me to Hard-Edge and was a great influence on my work, and is responsible for my being here”.
The first serigraph / silkscreen print of “Love” was printed as part of an exhibition poster for Stable Gallery in 1966. The print was bold green and blue, with a red advertisement of the gallery exhibition at the bottom Love and the American Dream: the Art of Robert Indiana. The only few signed copies of this print removed the red portion, was signed on the bottom reverse by Indiana, which was common with his early work, and given as gifts to the workers who set up the gallery exhibition.
Robert Indiana’s LOVE print appears in twelve different colour-ways within Indiana’s Book of Love (1996) portfolio. In 1977, Indiana created a Hebrew version with the four-letter word Ahava. Indiana also created variations including HOPE for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and AMOR in 1994.
Robert Indiana prints
Browse Robert Indiana prints here.