THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE, 1964

Oil on canvas
four panels, diamond
each: 67.5 x 67.5 in.
(171.5 x 171. 5 cm.)
overall: 135 x 135 in.
(342.9 x 342.9 cm.)

The Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Buhl Ford II Fund

Robert Indiana: I had originally intended it [The Brooklyn Bridge] as an homage to Stella because I’ve always admired reproductions of his paintings. When I saw the Whitney show and saw the actual paintings, I became so disillusioned with Stella as an artist that I changed the intention, and by using the text of Hart Crane for the lines around the bridges, it became an homage to Crane instead.

[ . . . ]

Arthur Carr: Do you have any feelings about how you would wish a person to approach your painting?

Indiana: Firstly, just as I suggested, just visually, Arthur.

Carr: In terms of form –

Indiana: Reading –

Carr: And color.

Indiana: Yes, reading wouldn’t even be necessary. But certainly secondarily, yes, I would hope that the text would mean something. Or the, whatever symbol I’m using, whether it be a letter or a number, but firstly the form and the color of the painting.

Carr: You would feel that form and color are more important in your choice of objects than –

Indiana: It depends upon the painting. With a painting like The Brooklyn Bridge, no, the content is probably first. Then, the form follows content. It is the Bridge and it’s the Bridge in all its gray and black somberness. In other words, when, when I first saw the Brooklyn Bridge, it was black. It hadn’t been cleaned. Then, should one, shall we say I don’t feel that the Brooklyn Bridge painting could be nearly as appreciated by an on-looker if he didn’t know the Bridge and know what associations I’ve made. But that’s, that I think is a little bit of an exception to most of my paintings.

 

Excerpt from The Reminiscences of Robert Indiana, 1965, interview with Robert Indiana by Arthur Carr

Medium

Decade

View

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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