Galería Javier López presents a solo show by American artist Robert Indiana (1928, New Castle, Indiana). This show is a two part-exhibition. At Manuel González Longoria the focus is a selection of recent paintings, called the “Peace Paintings.” José Marañón’s space features a show of sculpture, known as "One Through Zero."
Regarded as one of the pre-eminent figures of American art since the 1960s, Robert Indiana is internationally recognized as a pioneer of the Pop art movement. Indiana is of course best known for the “LOVE” logo he created in 1964 as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art in New York; an image that soon became the universal symbol of his generation. In 1962, Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery hosted Robert Indiana’s first New York solo exhibition. In the mid 60s, as part of the emerging Pop movement, Indiana befriended artists like Warhol, Lichtenstein, Johns or Oldenburg. He was the star of Andy Warhol’s film “Eat” (1963). Like Warhol and his other Pop peers, Indiana conceives art as something accessible to the masses that delivers content and immediate meaning. Despite it falls in line with Pop aesthetics, his work addresses in its committed vision identity concerns - in particular the artist is drawn towards the notions of American identity and the ‘American Dream’ - with an astonishing emotionally personalized density. His reconstruction and redefinition of the American Dream - a recurrent theme and subject of his first great painting sold to the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1961- has taken many forms; from political and literary paintings to self-portraits to identity and celebrity investigations. Using indistinctively graphics, paint or sculpture, Indiana often incorporates daily and familiar words into his art. In doing this, the artist invites the viewer to revaluate concepts represented by the words he introduces; and to explore all social and practical conditions associated to the act represented by the given word, like in ‘LOVE’ or ‘EAT.’ Indiana’s romance with words is matched by his fascination with numbers. He forged a signature style early on in his career; his first ‘American Dreams’ already embraced a vocabulary of: cardinal numbers, highway signs (borrowing signage from the most famous roads in America like: Route #40, #29 or Route #66, the Mother Road of America), geometric shapes (mainly circles, squares, arrows or rhombuses) and stars (depicted in flat colours.)
He created these recent “Peace Paintings” in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks; hence it is a series that speak eloquently to universal human concerns (Peace, or even better, the loss of Peace.) Each diamond-shaped canvas features a circle, bearing block-lettered sentences about the loss of peace. The shapes portray from abstract geometric paintings from the 60s, to traffic signs to mandalas. Furthermore, his use of the universally recognized peace symbol was done in response to the Vietnam War, and thus the paintings recall stylistically and politically this era. It is worth mentioning that it is the first time that the artist incorporates the word ‘Peace’ into his canvases.
A version of “One Through Zero” fabricated in 1996 were on view in New York City on Park Avenue 60th Street and 70th Street in early 2003. The numbers and their colours were identified to represent the stages of man. Indiana has fabricated for Galería Javier López another set of the numbers in stainless steel.