FRENCH ATOMIC BOMB, 1959-1960

Polychromed wood beam and metal
38.6 x 11.6 x 4.8 in.
(98.1 x 29.5 x 12.4 cm.)

The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Gift of Arne Eckstrom.

Digital Image © The Museum of Modern Art/Licensed by SCALA/Art Resource, NY

“Situated in the middle of a large and fertile field of demolished 19th century warehouses with damaged beams lying in the rubble waiting to be burned or scavenged by a band of indigent artists looking for raw materials. The only rub is that with so many prospectors working the field, a piece spotted and “claimed” in the morning may disappear by nightfall, the propitious time for beam salvaging. Buildings to the left, buildings to the right are razed to make way for future skyscrapers.

At first geometric and severe, rusted metal and white gesso against wood stained and scarred with age, the transformation of the constructions advances with the polychromy of commerce’s signs, rampant on warehouse, truck, and ship, along with another element abandoned in the doomed warehouses and sailmakers’ lofts that fringe the waterfront: the brass stencil which brings the word to bear.

An opportunity to exhibit this work comes when a neighbor on the Slip, Rolf Nelson, working at the Martha Jackson Gallery, suggests his inclusion in the New Forms New Media Show in July.

French Atomic Bomb is his first piece shown in New York and is bought from the show. A few years later, after passing hands, it is given to the Museum of Modern Art.”  — Robert Indiana

 

First published in “Autochronology,” Robert Indiana (Philadelphia: Institute of Contemporary Art with Falcon Press, 1968)

Medium

Decade

View

Clear Filters
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
UNTITLED

UNTITLED

1945
TECH

TECH

1945
500

500

1945
BEAN BUD

BEAN BUD

1945
MENE MENE TEKEL

MENE MENE TEKEL

1955-56/1989
GINKGO

GINKGO

1957/1959
HUB

HUB

1957/2005
SOURCE I

SOURCE I

1959
THE SLIPS

THE SLIPS

1959-1960
RA

RA

1960
ZIG

ZIG

1960
SOUL

SOUL

1960
OWL

OWL

1960
ORB

ORB

1960
MOON

MOON

1960
M

M

1960
HOLE

HOLE

1960
GE

GE

1960
WALL OF CHINA

WALL OF CHINA

1960 - 1961
ELECTI

ELECTI

1960-1961
MARINE WORKS

MARINE WORKS

1960-1962
MATE

MATE

1960-1962
TWO

TWO

1960-1962
JEANNE D'ARC

JEANNE D'ARC

1960-1962
BAR

BAR

1960-1962
LAW

LAW

1960-1962
STAR

STAR

1960-1962
CUBA

CUBA

1960-1962
MELVILLE

MELVILLE

1961
BALLYHOO

BALLYHOO

1961
HARDROCK

HARDROCK

1961
WOMB

WOMB

1961
SLIP

SLIP

1961
GEM

GEM

1961/1984
DOWN

DOWN

1962
UP

UP

1962
GRASS

GRASS

1962
FOR

FOR

1962
EAT/DIE

EAT/DIE

1962
HUG

HUG

1962
HUB

HUB

1962
FOUR

FOUR

1962
EAT

EAT

1962
CHIEF

CHIEF

1962
AHAB

AHAB

1962
DIE

DIE

1962/1984
X-5

X-5

1963
COLUMN LOVE

COLUMN LOVE

1963-1964
COLUMN HUG

COLUMN HUG

1963-1964
COLUMN EAT

COLUMN EAT

1963-1964
FLAGELLANT

FLAGELLANT

1963/1969
LOVE

LOVE

1964
LOVE

LOVE

1964
ONE

ONE

1965
TWO

TWO

1965
THREE

THREE

1965
FOUR

FOUR

1965
FIVE

FIVE

1965
SIX

SIX

1965
SEVEN

SEVEN

1965
EIGHT

EIGHT

1965
NINE

NINE

1965
ZERO

ZERO

1965
MODEL T

MODEL T

1966
LOVE

LOVE

1966
666

666

1966
LOVE

LOVE

1966-1999
LOVE WALL

LOVE WALL

1966/2006
LOVE

LOVE

1967
APOGEE

APOGEE

1970
ART

ART

1972-2001
AHAVA

AHAVA

1977
MONARCHY

MONARCHY

1981
FIVE

FIVE

1984
MARS

MARS

1990
ICARUS

ICARUS

1992
EVE

EVE

1997
AMOR

AMOR

1998-2006
COMET

COMET

2000