Robert Indiana, ‘NUMBERS ONE through ZERO’, 1978-2003, Phillips
Robert Indiana, ‘NUMBERS ONE through ZERO’, 1978-2003, Phillips

All 18 x 18 x 10 in. (45.7 x 45.7 x 25.4 cm)

Impressed ‘© 1978-2003 R Indiana 8/8’ on the underside of each (there were also 2 artist's proofs), published by MILGO, Brooklyn (with their impressed stamp on the underside).

From the Catalogue:
NUMBERS ONE through ZERO conveys a characteristic blending of the disciplines of painting and sculpture that is one of the distinguishing features of Indiana’s work. Like his sculptural interpretation of his originally two-dimensional subject of LOVE, it suggests that the printed form has been extruded into space. The depth of the numbers, which is about half their width, gives the forms a monumental solidity that underlines the way the sculptures stand as a poetic condensation of Indiana’s multifaceted engagement with the symbolic, allegorical and formal aspects of numbers. As with the letters of the alphabet, Indiana’s NUMBERS can be arranged and rearranged in different ways to generate different meanings through their combinations and juxtapositions.

The palette of Indiana’s NUMBERS is also loaded with symbolism. He explained the choice of palette as follows: red and blue are associated with birth in ONE; green and blue signify infancy in TWO; orange and blue represent youth in THREE; yellow and red are connected with adolescence in FOUR; white and blue signify the pre-prime of life in FIVE; green and red signify the prime of life in SIX; blue and orange suggest early autumn of life in SEVEN; purple and red signal autumn in EIGHT; black and yellow convey a sense of warning in NINE; and shades of gray signal the end of the life cycle in ZERO. The use of contrasting colors on the flat frontal planes versus the contours creates a dramatic contrast of colors, which is amplified in the shifting play of the colors as one moves around them.

robertindiana.com/works/numbers-one-through-zero
Courtesy of Phillips

The artist
Morgan Art Foundation, New York
Private Collection, Europe

About Robert Indiana

One of the central figures of the Pop Art movement, Robert Indiana takes his inspiration from commercial signs, claiming: “There are more signs than trees in America. There are more signs than leaves. So I think of myself as a painter of American landscape.” In his paintings, sculptures, and prints, he mimics and re-arranges the words and numbers of a myriad of signs, including the Phillips 66 gas station logo and the “Yield” traffic sign. He is most famous for his “LOVE” paintings and sculptures, first produced in the 1960s. Creating a block out of the word—with the “L” and the “O” set atop the “V” and the “E”—Indiana has effectively inserted his own sign into the mix.

American, 1928-2018, New Castle, IN, United States, based in New York, NY, United States