Robert Indiana, one of the preeminent figures in American art since the 1960s, played a central role in the development of assemblage art, hard-edge painting, and Pop art. The year 1966 marked a turning point in Indiana’s career with the success of his LOVE image, which had been featured in a solo exhibition at the Stable Gallery. Indiana’s LOVE, selected by the Museum of Modern Art in 1965 for its Christmas card, quickly permeated wider popular culture, and was adopted as an emblem of the “Love Generation.” Appearing on a best-selling United States Postal Service stamp (1973) and reproduced on countless unauthorized products, the proliferation of the image led, on one hand, to negative criticism and incorrect assumptions of the artist as a sell-out.
However, the image’s popularity more importantly emphasizes its great resonance with large and diverse audiences, and has become an icon of modern art.
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