Robert Indiana's 'Alphabet & The Icons’ Opens Oct. 19 At MWPAI Art Museum

Photo: Robert Indiana/Michael McKenzie

“Art,” 2013, silkscreen in colors on triple prime canvas, 24 by 24 by 2 inches, ©Robert Indiana, courtesy American Image Art.

UTICA, N.Y. — An exhibition celebrating the career of Robert Indiana (b 1928), will debut at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute Museum of Art (MWPAI) October 19. It will be on view through January 5.

“Robert Indiana from A to Z: The Alphabet and the Icons” spans Indiana’s artistic career, from 1934 to the present, and features more than 75 works in all media including his icons “Love,” “Hope,” and “Eat” and his latest masterpiece, “The Alphabet,” which is in many ways the culmination of his journey using text as image. The exhibition also includes several never-before-seen childhood drawings and portraits.

Indiana’s “Love,” originally conceived as a postcard for New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, is one of the most recognizable images of Twentieth Century American art. “Love” has been rendered as a sculpture, drawing, print and a US postage stamp.

 “Robert Indiana from A to Z” explores Indiana’s artistic endeavors from the age of 6 to 84. Never-before exhibited personal books, posters, notecards and objects are included and provide insight into the artist’s methodology and ideas. These biographical and educational materials document Indiana’s earliest efforts, and his process as a mature artist is revealed in notebooks containing quotes, drawings and observations as he began to conceive, create and exhibit landmark icons such as “Love,” “American Dream,” “Hope” and “The Alphabet.”

For MWPAI, this exhibition is a homecoming and celebration of an artist who spent formative time in Utica. Robert Indiana, born Robert Clark in New Castle, Ind., initially studied in Chicago. In 1947, while serving in the United States Army Air Forces and stationed in Rome, N.Y., Indiana was enrolled in evening art classes at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute School of Art.

MWPAI Museum of Art is at 310 Genesee Street. For more information, 315-797-0000 or www.mwpai.org/museum-of-art.

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