THE CONFEDERACY: LOUISIANA, 1966

oil on canvas
70 x 60 in.
(177.8 x 152.4 cm.)

Krannert Art Museum, Champaign, Illinois

“The situation in the South affects everyone and I can’t wake up in the morning and see a newspaper or listen to a radio without becoming perhaps ill at the news that comes through. I am sensitive to this and it’s part of my painting.” — Robert Indiana, 1966

 

The Confederacy: Louisiana is one of a series of four paintings which comment on the civil rights struggles and violence taking place in the American South in the mid-sixties. Cartographic portrayals of strongholds of racism, they are examples of Indiana’s early political work. Each of the four canvases contains a series of concentric circles, resembling a target, at the center of which is a flesh colored map of a state (Louisiana, Florida, Mississippi, and Alabama). The color, with its bodily connotations, echoes the unifying phrase found in the outer two rings of each work, “Just as in the anatomy of man every nation must have its hind part.”

In The Confederacy: Louisiana Indiana targets Bogalusa, a city dubbed “Klantown, USA” due to its status in the mid-sixties as the city with the highest per capita number of members of the Ku Klux Klan, and which the artist ironically describes as “The Fair City.” In June 1965 the town’s only African-American policemen were ambushed, resulting in the death of one officer, and violence against demonstrators in the ensuing protests. The civil rights campaign in the city was led by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), to which Indiana donated several paintings.

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