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Lot Details

This is an extremely rare hand-signed, numbered and copyrighted Proof (edition of 100) of the original most iconic LOVE silkscreen created in 1967 by Robert Indiana - one of the very last of the living Pop Art legends, who is currently the subject of a major Whitney Museum retrospective. This is the most classic, desirable, and rare of the entire LOVE series - now one of the most popular images in the world. It is based on the painting LOVE from 1966, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana. According to the catalogue that accompanied a 1969 Robert Indiana Graphics exhibition featuring this 1967 silkscreen: "This is the basic LOVE with the colors of 'Earth' and 'Sky' transposed, which becomes the 'Lake Love' (since the blue is contained within the o) as opposed to the 'Sky Love.'" For true fans, collectors and dealers of Robert Indiana's works on paper, if you are seeking the original classic and most uncommon signed limited edition Sixties LOVE screenprint, this is it.

Originally designed as a Christmas card commissioned by The Museum of Modern Art in 1965, LOVE has appeared in prints, paintings, sculptures, banners, rings, tapestries, and stamps. As the Masterworks catalogue of the Museum of Modern Art, which owns this print, notes, "Full of erotic, religious, autobiographical, and political underpinnings—especially when it was co-opted as an emblem of 1960s idealism— LOVE is both accessible and complex in meaning." (Deborah Wye, p. 166)

This very image was chosen as the cover image for the Catalogue Raisonne of Robert Indiana's prints (Sheehan, 1991). It was also chosen to represent the artist at the hisoric 4. documenta Kassel Exhibition of 1968. Indeed, it is one of the most recognizable Pop Art prints ever created.

There was a larger signed edition of 250 of this 1967 work with full margins. However, separately, Robert Indiana also created this more dramatic version without margins in an extremely limited edition of only 100 signed Proofs, of which this is one. In fact, he had intended to create this version, printed to the edges of the sheet, in an unsigned version of 2,275 to be affordable and for the masses. From that larger, unsigned edition, Indiana created only 100 signed Artist's Proofs, including this one piece (sometimes annotated AP, according to Sheehan) - hand-signed and numbered by the artist with his unique copyright - and not intended to be mass marketed. Thus, the work offered here is from that extremely rare and elusive signed and numbered edition of only 100 - with the image printed to the edges of the sheet.

The original provenance of this silkscreen is the collection of the publisher, Multiples, Inc., as seen on the label verso. It has only come to the market for the first time more than four decades after it was created.

The work has been removed from the original frame to be examined and it is in excellent condition. There is some minor ink bleed to the verso, which appears to have been part of the printing process, not affecting the beautiful image. It is framed in a classic Kulicke 1960s frame, which bears the stamp of the Publisher, Multiples, Inc., New York. The Kulicke sticker also denotes the publisher - Multiples, Inc. - as the original owner of this rare, signed Artist's Proof.

A dazzling impression, this is a chance to own a piece of Pop Art history!

Read more
Publication: Robert Indiana Prints: A Catalogue Raisonne, 1951-1991, plate 39, page 28 Deborah Wye, Artists and Prints: Masterworks from The Museum of Modern Art, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, p. 166 4. documenta Kassel Catalogue, 1968, Germany The Catalogue, "Robert Indiana Graphics", Saint Mary's College, 1969, 1st Edition, Plate 10 Pop Impressions: Prints and Multiples from the Museum of Modern Art, Wendy Weitman, MoMA, Distributed by Harry N. Abrams, New York, 1999 1st Edition, page 44
Catalogue Raisonné: 39, Sheehan
No condition report has been added for this lot. Please contact the specialist for further information.
Provenance:
  • Collection of the Publisher, Multiples, Inc.
Exhibition:
The Prints and Posters of Robert Indiana: 1961-1969, An exhibition organized by The Department of Art of Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indian, June 12-July 6, 1969
4. documenta Kassel, 1968, Germany
Pop Impressions: Europe/USA: Prints and Multiples from the Museum of Modern Art, 1999
  • Pickup Location: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 35 x 35 x 1 in. (88.9 x 88.9 x 2.54 cm.)
  • Framed Under: Plexi
Accepted: Wire Transfer, Check
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