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

Robert Indiana: Love is God

Since first appearing on the Museum of Modern Art’s 1965 Christmas card, Robert Indiana’s “LOVE” motif quickly permeated the popular imagination, appearing everywhere from life-size sculptures to government-issued stamps. In 2014, Indiana revisited his classic design in Love is God, a color silkscreen on diamond-shaped museum board. The work depicts a gradient of 18 shades of gray spiraling out from a central emblem that reads in simple text, “Love is God.” The no-frills work reflects the simplicity of the Christian Science churches Indiana attended throughout his childhood. As Indiana recalls, these churches rarely had unnecessary decor—save for small gold inscriptions on the reader’s podium: “God is Love.” Co-opting the phrase for his work, Indiana reimagines the quintessential Christian motto—reversing the order of the words and inserting his own iconic block-letter “LOVE” motif into the center of the composition.