los-angeles

Robert Indiana

Multiples

Robert Indiana, ten years after the fact, has some bad points. His stuff takes the commercial art form of a cover for a slick/hip magazine like Avant Garde (that “Love” is a Frankenstein); it has all the prefab attractions—clean edges, block/stencil letters, sweetly loud color, pinball machine layouts, and “content”; all in all, it’s as endemic to ‘60s supergraphics as fender fins were to the ‘50s. “Decade,” a series of ten serigraphs, reprises all this via the “major” themes of the last ten years—“Hind Part” (Philadelphia, Mississippi, not Selma, Alabama), “Brooklyn Bridge” out of Joseph Stella, “Tilt,” “Terre Haute,” and the “Figure Five” via Charles Demuth. But, Indiana was one of the first (partyline Pop artists), he has a touch with the builtins (look at the bad ones in every college printmaker show), his themes are tough, general, and reporterlike, and he’s honest (like Picasso)

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