Indiana’s 24-inch square red, white, and blue ART exemplifies his distinctive melding of language and image together with hard-edge line and pure color. Painted in 1970, it was first acquired in 1972 by the art historian and critic Sam Hunter and his wife, and bears an inscription to them on the verso.
The artist publicly debuted his interpretation of the word ART in 1970, in a poster for Princeton University Art Museum’s American Art since 1960 exhibition; later that year the image also appeared in a poster for the inaugural exhibitions at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s new building. Even more compact than LOVE, ART would become the next single word to occupy his attention in the 1970s. In 1972 ART made its debut as a sculpture in Indiana’s solo exhibition at the Denise René Gallery in New York.