Celebrating ‘LOVE at the Farnsworth’

Feb 08, 2014
Gift of the artist, 2008 Pages from Robert Indiana’s “The Book of Love,” 1996, Edition AP3-15, are part of the exhibition opening Valentine’s Day at Rockland’s Farnsworth Art Museum.

Rockland — On Valentine’s Day — Friday, Feb. 14 — the Farnsworth Art Museum will open a new exhibition of Robert Indiana’s work entitled “Celebrating LOVE.” The month-long exhibition, on display in the museum’s Rothschild Gallery, will run through March 16.

Chief Curator Michael K. Komanecky will lead a gallery talk on the exhibition Friday. This talk is free with admission and will meet in the museum lobby at 2 p.m. The public is invited to a free reception with food, drinks, live music and more Saturday, Feb. 15, from 4 to 7 p.m. (see link below for more information).

“Celebrating LOVE” explores Indiana’s persistent and multi-faceted exploration of his “LOVE” imagery, among the most recognized images in the history of American art. It features the museum’s “LOVE” sculpture, along with his “Book of LOVE,” a portfolio of prints and poems.

The origins of Robert Indiana’s many versions of “LOVE” can be traced to personal as well as artistic sources. He was raised as a Christian Scientist and in the simple churches he went to during his childhood in Indiana, he took note of the single inscription found in all of them: “God is Love.” In 1961, he inserted the word in a painting, “4-Star Love,” running it across the bottom of the canvas. In 1964, he painted “Love is God,” rephrasing the words he encountered years earlier in church. Later that year, the Museum of Modern Art in New York commissioned Indiana to do one of its Christmas cards, and in 1965 he produced a red, green and blue design with the word “love” that established the model for what became one of the most iconic images in American art.

The Farnsworth Art Museum celebrates Maine’s ongoing role in American art. It offers a nationally recognized collection of works from many of America’s greatest artists, with 20,000 square feet of gallery space and more than 15,000 works in the collection. The Farnsworth has one of the largest public collections of works by sculptor Louise Nevelson, while its Wyeth Center features works of N.C., Andrew and Jamie Wyeth. The National Register-listed Farnsworth Homestead; the Olson House, a National Historic Landmark; and Julia’s Gallery for Young Artists complete the museum complex. For more information on current exhibitions, programs and events, visit farnsworthmuseum.org.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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