KVF III (Hartley Elegy), 1989-1994

oil on canvas
77 x 51 in.
(195.6 x 129.5 cm.)

As Indiana developed his Hartley Elegy series he began to increasingly interweave both his own life and additional historical references into the paintings. KvF III, the third Elegy, incorporates Kennedy’s well-known 1963 proclamation “Ich bin ein Berliner,” made in front of the Berlin Wall, alongside the designation “Der Amerikanische Maler.” The latter references Hartley’s status as an American painter in Berlin, but can also be applied to Indiana himself, the self proclaimed “American painter of signs.” By including the reference to Kennedy Indiana establishes the painting as a tribute to two men, Hartley and Kennedy (whose election he celebrated in his painting Electi). He also evokes Berlin at two different historical periods, during World War I and in a post World War II divided Germany. Indiana has noted that his creation of the Hartley Elegies coincides with the fall of the Berlin Wall, further expanding the historical context of the works.

KvF III quotes much of the visual vocabulary found throughout Hartley’s War Motif series – the Iron Cross that von Freyburg was awarded shortly before his death; the letter E, possibly standing for Hartley’s given first name, Edmund; and the numeral 4, representing von Freyburg’s regimen, the 4th Regiment of the Imperial Guards. Indiana again links Hartley and von Freyburg, here through four epaulets at the bottom of the central ring. They contain the initials of the two men and the age of each man at his death, 66 for Hartley and 24 for von Freyburg. As with second Elegy, KvF III isolates specific colors from the original color scheme, in this instance red, yellow and black, the colors of the German flag.

Medium

Decade

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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