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© Robert Indiana / Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York, NY.

Robert Indiana: Decade Autoportraits

“I don’t think any other decade will mean the same thing to me as the ’60s did,” Robert Indiana once said. During this historic decade, Indiana developed his signature style of painting numbers and letters, started exhibiting in major museums, and befriended some of the most influential artists of the time, including Andy Warhol. Quickly growing nostalgic for this radical period, Indiana began his “Decade: Autoportrait” series in 1971, creating paintings and prints that captured each year of his life from 1960–1969. For example, the first in the series, Decade: Autoportrait 1960, is adorned with words that hint at what was most meaningful to Indiana that year: “ELLS” references his friend Ellsworth Kelly, “THE WATERFRONT” refers to the south tip of Manhattan where Indiana lived, and “PEARL” and “SOUTH ST” were neighboring streets that housed friends and fellow artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Agnes Martin.

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