LOVE Indiana Stable May 66: Offered here is an original serigraph advertising the May, 1966 solo exhibit of the American pop artist Robert Indiana at Eleanor Ward’s Stable Gallery in New York. Note: this is the original printing, not the reproductions done in 1971. It is 33 x 41 inches as matted and framed in gloss white wood.
Provenance: My aunt Janet Cox-Rearick, a well-regarded art historian, acquired it in New York where it hung in her apartment for 53 years until her death recently. I have not been able to determine how many were printed but it is considered quite rare, especially in such pristine condition. It is unsigned.
This “LOVE” image had appeared previously in 1965 as a Holiday card for MoMA. In 1973 it was a USPS stamp. It is one of the most famous, and most appropriated images in the pop art lexicon. Indiana understood this: In 2008 he reworked it as “HOPE” and donated the proceeds—over $1M— to Obama’s campaign.
“The word LOVE got to be the way it is because I have a kind of a passion about symmetry and the dividing of things into equal parts. The word LOVE is that way because those four letters best fit a square if the square is squared by that particular arrangement. And it was really that sort of a necessity for a very compact form that I came upon that arrangement…With the red, blue and green paintings the interaction in the eye is of such a nature that with the slightest change of light the fields automatically interchange, the positive becomes negative and vice versa, with almost a violent effect in the eye.” — Robert Indiana.