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Robert Indiana, ONE Through ZERO (The Ten Numbers), 1980-2001, installation view at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, 2022

In 1964, when Larry Aldrich, an American fashion designer, commissioned a painting from Robert Indiana, neither could have foreseen the consequences for the artist’s career. The self-described “painter of signs” produced “Love Is God”, a work that spells out its title in white letters, set in a circle against a monochrome background. The idea had “burst into mind”, Indiana explained, when he learnt that Aldrich was converting an old Christian Science church into a gallery in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Suddenly the artist was back in the Christian Science churches to which he had been taken as a child, where “God Is Love” always appeared on an otherwise bare wall.

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Robert Indiana, Love Is God, 1964, 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, Love Is God, 1964, 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