American (Newcastle, Ind., 1928)
Best known for his 1964 LOVE image with stacked letters and a tilted O, Robert Indiana elevated the bold, eye-catching styles of commercial art into high art. Born Robert Clark, he took the name of his home state to emphasize that his essential subject was American visual culture. Indiana’s precise geometric forms, vivid colors and assertive words derive from commercial graphics but are imbued with layers of meaning. “Eternal Hexagon” is one of Indiana’s many mandala forms based on numbers and polygons. The hexagon is a fundamental organizing structure in nature and an important symbol in many religions. In the hands of a pop artist who is engaged with the brief shelf lives of commercial products, a reference to eternity is ironic.