A reassessment of the works by the American painter of signs and symbols
While best known for his iconic work LOVE, Robert Indiana (*1928 in New Castle, Indiana) has created a major body of work over the past fifty years that, besides various genres, spans different art movements, such assemblage, hard edge, abstraction, and Pop Art. This book brings together recent scholarly insight into this important artist, who has referred to himself as an “American painter of signs.” It addresses themes ranging from Indiana's politically engaged works, his formative years in the unique artistic community of Coenties Slip in downtown Manhattan, and his place within the Pop discourse to his allegorical depictions of gender and family. Thus, this book reassesses some of Indiana's most significant works and sheds light on his place in the history of art.
I'm very happy, that I had this great opportunity to work on such an amazing project. Robert Indiana is my absolute hero in concern of his statements, the use of colors, type, and graphic shapes, and how he plays with space, fore- and background.
The idea for the colors of the dust jacket came from the actual colors of the painting, that is shown in the black and white cover photograph. I used some of the painting’s colors for the back, the flaps and the typography to bring back the famous Indiana colors.
Robert Indiana’s shorthand logogram is IND. This logogram is highlighted by his shifted surname.
For all the texts, headlines and captions, I used my dear friend Karl-Heinz Lange’s (1929–2010) beautiful PTL Superla (former Super Grotesk by VEB Typoart). I see the same modernity, pureness, and balance of shape and counter space in this typeface, like I see it in the paintings of Robert Indiana. Two creative heads from the same generation.
Special thanks to Allison Unruh, who was such a great editor to work with. It was a fantastic team play with her.
My regards go to Emeline and Simon Salama-Caro, who made this great project possible and showed me so much more of Robert Indiana‘s works.
Many thanks to Julika Zimmermann and Christine Empter from the great team of Hatje Cantz.
Hatje Cantz, 2011
272 pp., 172 color ills., 25.50 x 31.50 cm, hardcover