About Robert Indiana

"He who changes his name is wearing a mask."
– Robert Indiana

William John Kennedy, Robert Indiana holding his Cat at his Coenties Slip Studio, 1964
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Gift of KIWI Arts Group, 2013.319
© 2010 William John Kennedy, kiwiartsgroup.com

Robert Indiana was born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, in 1928. As a high school student at Arsenal Tech, he attended Saturday school at the Herron Art Institute in 1945. After three years in the Army Air Corps, Indiana earned a degree from the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953, and settled in New York in 1954. In 1958, Robert Clark adopted the name of his home state and became Robert Indiana because “Clark” was, in his opinion, too ordinary.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art has had a long history with Robert Indiana, beginning in 1967 when the IMA purchased his LOVE painting and, eventually, the sculpture. This work, as with most, is autobiographical, the artist observes, with the memorable landmarks of his life embedded within the words, colors, and numbers that comprise his compositions.

Indiana’s work has been shown at more than 30 museums and galleries, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; and the Stedelijk Museum, The Netherlands. Indiana has lived and worked in Vinalhaven, Maine, since 1978.

For a full timeline of Robert Indiana’s life and work, visit his website at robertindiana.com.