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Installation view of the exhibition Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958–2018 at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2022

The iconic Love motif that Robert Indiana (1928-2018) created in 1964 remains embedded in the public consciousness. Inextricably associated with the hippy counter-culture of the era, the four-letter design with its oblique “O” became so popular – reproduced on posters, T-shirts, mugs and stamps, mostly without his permission – that it overshadowed virtually everything else the American artist produced. Beginning as a Christmas card and later a line of paintings and sculptures, the image carries a multiplicity of religious, political, erotic and personal connotations that run far deeper than the upbeat spirit it is usually assumed to convey. Its ubiquity has tended to obscure the complexities of Indiana’s art, becoming a factor in his critical neglect. Redressing the balance, this exhibition at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) provides a rare opportunity to discover the scope of a practice centred on explorations of American identity, personal histories and political issues.

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Robert Indiana, Ash, 1985, cast 2017, installation view at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2022. Photo: © Jonty Wilde, courtesy of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Artwork: © 2022 Morgan Art Foundation Ltd./ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London

Robert Indiana, Ash, 1985, cast 2017, installation view at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2022. Photo: © Jonty Wilde, courtesy of Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Artwork: © 2022 Morgan Art Foundation Ltd./ Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/DACS, London