Robert Indiana

January 23 - March 31, 2016

Following the great international exhibitions dedicated to Pop art in the main capitol cities' museums in Europe, Galleria d'Arte Maggiore G.A.M. continues its in-depth analysis on the most loved American art. After a record number of visitors for Andy Warhol's exhibition, it is now time for Robert Indiana, creator of those iconic works rightly entered in everybody's life and in the everyday language of media and people. Among the works included in the show, curated by Franco and Roberta Calarota and promoted by their daughter Alessia, there is of course the famous sculpture LOVE, presented in different variations, together with other important pieces such as AMOR and ONE THROUGH ZERO, the artistic series of numbers. With these works Indiana starts from American identity to explore today's occidental culture in its various aspects of language through the power of abstraction.

The work of Indiana is bold, iconic and apparently immediate. It is a work of undoubted forcefulness and visual power that instantly hits the visitor's eye and mind. He proclaims himself "the American painter of signs" and bases his works on a wide and original repertoire of images in which prevail short but incisive words: LOVE or AMOR, composed by cubital letters and series of numbers. First thought as paintings, his works have been transformed into sculptural works, even of monumental size, that seem to elevate themselves as totem of contemporary civility: the "sculptural poetries". A figurative view made of symbols, marks and numbers of consumer society, that the artist interprets with extreme exuberance through the use of bright and brilliant colors, invested by a strong expressive value that pushes his art and his language to the limits of the visual content.

In this exhibition great attention is dedicated to LOVE, the sculpture which has become not only the symbol of the artist's work but an icon of our days (born in 1964 on commission by MoMA for a Christmas card, it was then transformed in the US official mail stamp, before becoming the three-dimensional sculpture in polychrome aluminium). In addition to his most known work, we find AMOR, that with the same typography of pairs of overlapping letters, subdivides the Italian word into two English words: AM and OR, enriching the meaning: “I AM”, poetic statement of being (to be), followed by reasonable human doubt “OR”, that remains the fateful Shakespeare's question, "to be or not to be". ONE THROUGH ZERO plays an highly emblematic role too. The ten numbers (from zero to nine) are not arranged in ascending order, but organized by the artist following a mutable organization that, according to the combinations and juxtapositions, generates different interpretations. Meaningful numbers, rich of references to the artist's personal experience (for example the buildings where he lived or the highway journeys he did) and to the cycle of the life itself: the number 1 indicates the birth through adolescence and maturity that leads to death represented by number 0 in a continuous cycle. Indiana, himself, has declared that the interest and fascination with numbers were born during his childhood, due to the continuous moving from one house to another, typical of American society: “When I was seventeen, I had already lived in twenty-one different houses”. The incredible series of numbers has been recently exhibited during the 56th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia in the show “Proportio” at Palazzo Fortuny, with whom Galleria d’Arte Maggiore G.A.M. is pleased to have been collaborating for years.

Robert Indiana’s authentic Pop spirit transforms the ordinary into art works starting from universal words or symbolic numbers: Pop as attachment to everyday life, as rejection of closed systems, as the opening to mass use. If we look today to this movement in a perspective way, it is undeniable the heritage left to many contemporary successors that use the written word as the central element of their works.

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