EXPLODING NUMBERS, 1964–66

oil on canvas
four panels
1: 12 x 12 in.
(30.5 x 30.5 cm)
2: 24 x 24 in.
(61 x 61 cm)
3: 36 x 36 in.
(91.4 x 91.4 cm)
4: 48 x 48 in.
(121.9 x 121.9 cm)

©2021 MORGAN ART FOUNDATION LTD./ARTISTS RIGHTS SOCIETY (ARS), NY

“Numbers fill my life. They fill my life even more than love. We are immersed in numbers from the moment we’re born. Love? Love is like the cherry on top of the whipped cream. Our very lives are structured on numbers. Birthdays, age, addresses, money—everywhere you turn, there are numbers. Your shirt has six buttons. The room has four walls. Numbers surround us. It’s endless. Now you may not be intrigued by this, but look at those who are mathematically inclined. Take the astronomers. How many numbers have the astronomers got? My God, the universe is a veritable sky full of numbers for them. If you happen to feel that love is as equally important as numbers, then you’re an idealist, a dreamer. Everything we do is reckoned by numbers. Every day, every minute of every day—here, look at my wrist watch. Every second is a different number. Numbers are seething around us. Don’t you recognize them?

. . . I’ve been involved with numbers much longer than I have been with love. My love affair with numbers goes way, way back. People don’t stop to think how beautiful numbers really are, perhaps for the same reason people don’t stop to think how beautiful words are. Other cultures have thought about it . . . In our culture we have words—marks the typewriter makes—and they’re not very attractive, are they? It’s the role of the artist—my particular role, if you will—to make words and numbers very, very special.”

—Robert Indiana

 

Published in Marius B. Péladeau and Martin Dibner. Indiana’s Indianas: A Twenty-Year Retrospective of Paintings and Sculpture from the Collection of Robert Indiana. Rockland, Maine: William A. Farnsworth Library and Art Museum, 1982.

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
HUB

HUB

1957/2005
SOURCE I

SOURCE I

1959
THE SLIPS

THE SLIPS

1959–60
SUN AND MOON

SUN AND MOON

1959–60
FOUR

FOUR

1959–62/1972
TWO GOLDEN ORBS

TWO GOLDEN ORBS

1959/2001
GINKGO

GINKGO

1960
RA

RA

1960
SOUL

SOUL

1960
OWL

OWL

1960
ORB

ORB

1960
MOON

MOON

1960
M

M

1960
GE

GE

1960
WALL OF CHINA

WALL OF CHINA

1960–61
ELECTI

ELECTI

1960–61
MARINE WORKS

MARINE WORKS

1960–62
MATE

MATE

1960–62
TWO

TWO

1960–62
JEANNE D'ARC

JEANNE D'ARC

1960–62
BAR

BAR

1960–62
ZIG

ZIG

1960–62
LAW

LAW

1960–62
AHAB

AHAB

1960–62
STAR

STAR

1960–62
WOMB

WOMB

1960–62
CUBA

CUBA

1960–62
HOLE

HOLE

1960–62
MELVILLE

MELVILLE

1961
BALLYHOO

BALLYHOO

1961
HARDROCK

HARDROCK

1961
SLIP

SLIP

1961
DOWN

DOWN

1962
UP

UP

1962
GRASS

GRASS

1962
FOR

FOR

1962
EAT/DIE

EAT/DIE

1962
HUG

HUG

1962
HUB

HUB

1962
EAT

EAT

1962
CHIEF

CHIEF

1962
DIE

DIE

1962/1984
GEM

GEM

1962/1984
THE X-5

THE X-5

1963
COLUMN LOVE

COLUMN LOVE

1963–64
COLUMN EAT

COLUMN EAT

1963–64
FLAGELLANT

FLAGELLANT

1963/1969
LOVE

LOVE

1964
LOVE

LOVE

1964
THE ELECTRIC EAT

THE ELECTRIC EAT

1964–2007
ONE

ONE

1964–65
TWO

TWO

1964–65
THREE

THREE

1964–65
FOUR

FOUR

1964–65
FIVE

FIVE

1964–65
SEVEN

SEVEN

1964–65
MY MOTHER

MY MOTHER

1964/1998
MY FATHER

MY FATHER

1964/1998
DILLINGER

DILLINGER

1964/1998
CALL ME ISHMAEL

CALL ME ISHMAEL

1964/1998
CALL ME INDIANA

CALL ME INDIANA

1964/1998
BOB'S COLUMN

BOB'S COLUMN

1964/1998
SIX

SIX

1965
EIGHT

EIGHT

1965
NINE

NINE

1965
ZERO

ZERO

1965
ALABAMA

ALABAMA

1965
MODEL T

MODEL T

1966
FLORIDA

FLORIDA

1966
LOVE

LOVE

1966
666

666

1966
LOVE

LOVE

1966–1999
THE ELECTRIC LOVE

THE ELECTRIC LOVE

1966–2000
LOVE WALL

LOVE WALL

1966–2006
LOVE

LOVE

1967
APOGEE

APOGEE

1970
ART

ART

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
ÀI

ÀI

2002
ÀI

ÀI

2002