Waddington Custot Galleries presents an exhibition of works by Robert Indiana, one of the fathers
of American twentieth-century art. This exhibition spans five decades of his work and covers five
themes within Indiana’s sculptural canon, including LOVE, EAT, ART and NUMBERS, and one
Indiana has always used universal subjects, spelling out words which indicate the work’s core
meaning. The sculptures can be read as a comment on American culture, and works like the
LOVE series and ‘The Four Diamond Peace Diamond’ question the Vietnam war and the later
activities in Iraq and Afghanistan.
However, Indiana’s sculptures reveal personal narratives within their sign-like appearance;
Indiana’s earliest work on display here, ‘The Electric EAT’, 1964, refers to the last word his
mother said to him before she died, and his fascination with numbers stems from the road signs
of his home state Indiana and from the various houses he lived in as a child.
The significance behind the simple form of these works is not always personal: the colours used
in ‘ONE through ZERO (The Ten Numbers)’ are a re-interpretation of ‘The Life and Age of Man:
Stages of Man’s life from the cradle to the grave’, a mid-nineteenth century lithograph by
Nathaniel Currier. Each coloured number represents a human stage from birth and infancy to the
prime of life and through to death.
Taken as a whole this exhibition provides a comprehensive overview of Indiana’s key sculptures
since the 1960s.
An illustrated catalogue will accompany the exhibition.