The Ninth Love Cross is one of three cross-shaped canvases completed by Indiana, along with The Demuth American Dream No. 5 (1963) and LOVE Cross (1968). It was painted in 2001, the same year as The Ninth American Dream, the final canvas in Indiana’s American Dream series.
Love is the theme for which Indiana is most widely recognized, and one which had great personal meaning to him. As in The Ninth American Dream, the central panel consists of the numeral “9” within a circle whose outer ring contains the word “Love,” repeated six times. The theme is continued in the panels to the left and right, whose outer rings contain different translations (amour, amor, amore, liebe, ahava) and types (agape, eros, lust) of love.
The top and bottom panels reference Indiana’s properties in Vinalhaven, Maine, where he lived from 1978 until his death in 2018. The sail loft on Clamshell Alley was Indiana’s sculpture studio, and the Star of Hope, built in 1883 for the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was his home.