Photos: New Robert Indiana Retrospective at IMA
The artist may have a conflicted relationship with this city, but his body of work shines through in the new exhibit showing through May 4.
Premiering officially today to the general public, the Indianapolis Museum of Art spotlights the work of Robert Indiana. For the first time in 40 years The Essential Robert Indiana will delve into the powerful screen-print productions of the city's most acclaimed artist. This month's issue of IM features a spread of eight prints displayed in the exhibit. The full collection offers hands-on stations to create your own autoportraits, a place to watch and listen to compelling interviews with Indiana, and a space to decode yourself through your association with colors, numbers, and shapes.
The complete exhibit holds 59 screen prints from Indiana, and according to Dr. John Wilmerding, a historian of the artist, they deserve this, their own showing. "I think the key point that this show makes is how powerful his prints are as works in their own right," he says. "I would argue that they're as good as his paintings."
As McNay Art Museum in San Antonio is showcasing works from Indiana's entire career at the same time, Wilmerding is delighted to see IMA's focus on showing off his screen prints. "This highlights a major aspect of his work that hasn't been seen in its entirety," he says.
This particular exhibit is much more than a simple presentation of a body of work—it's an autobiography. "It doesn't look autobiographical, but [Indiana] insists that it is," exhibition curator Martin Krause says. "So we made the effort to decode what was underneath the surface. And because there's usually a one-to-one relationship between the prints and his paintings this is really a full retrospective of his career."
The Essential Robert Indiana. Feb. 16–May 4. Indianapolis Museum of Art, 4000 Michigan Rd., 317-923-1331, imamuseum.org