The Art of Robert Indiana and Alexander Girard contain some of the most recognizable icons of romance. Here’s a look at their enduring “LOVE” and “heart” art as well as products and home decor inspired by those pieces.
The Art of Robert Indiana & Alexander Girard
Initially designed decades ago, these eternally hip symbols have found their way onto many different products, all of which make excellent Valentine’s gifts for any designer or art lover.
Robert Indiana (b. 1928-2018)
above: Painter, Sculptor and designer, Robert Indiana with his famous Love image. photo by Stephen O. Muskie.
Robert Indiana’s LOVE image is arguably one of the most recognizable icons of the latter half of the 20th century. With giant sculptures in many major cities, Robert Indiana is one of the first artists many think of when asked to define “pop” art. His love image has appeared on postage stamps for multiple countries, in various color formations, as art, paperweights and rugs. He also created his love sculpture in Hebrew (Ahava) in 1977 and as Amor, 1998-2006 as well as several other variations, some of which can be seen below.
above: LOVE, 1964, colored pencil on paper, 8″ x 8″
above: Robert Indiana, “LOVE WALL,” 1966 – 2006, Cor-ten steel, 144 x 144 x 48 inches, 366 x 366 x 122 cm. Installation view at Paul Kasmin Gallery 2018 © 2018 Morgan Art Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Christopher Stach
“I had no idea LOVE would catch on the way it did. Oddly enough, I wasn’t thinking at all about anticipating the Love generation and hippies. It was a spiritual concept. It isn’t a sculpture of love any longer. It’s become the very theme of love itself.” — Robert Indiana
above: IMPERIAL LOVE, 1966, Oil on canvas, two panels, each: 72 x 72″; overall: 72″ x 144″
above: The Electric Love, 1966/2000, polychrome aluminum with electric lights, 72 X 72 X 36 IN.(182.8 X 182.8 X 91.4 CM.)
above: Robert Indiana’s Ahava (Hebrew) and Amor versions.
The iconic artwork spun off several licensed and decorative versions such as matts, rugs, stamps, paperweights and jewelry.
Robert Indiana “Love” Items: (Most of which are no longer available).
above: Robert Indiana’s LOVE postage stamps, first issued in 1973 for 8 cents a piece. Other versions have since been issued by the USPS.
Love Welcome Mats:
From the Whitney Museum store, available in the small size only Coir, 20″ x 20″ x 1.5″ (sadly, no longer available).
The LOVE Rugs are original works of Art by Robert Indiana and produced by the Artist in conjunction with master rug maker John Gilbert. Hand made with archival New Zealand wool. Each piece comes with a “Certificate of Authenticity” signed by the publisher. Sizes: 2’x 2′ or 6’x 6′
above: Love Enflame (Classic Love) edition: 150, size: 6 x 6 feet, 183 cm x 183 cm
above:Grisaille, edition: 30 in a Book of Love Portfolio Edition of 300, size: 6 x 6 feet, 183 cm x 183 cm
now used to carry Robert Indiana’s Love sculpture as an aluminum paperweight in various colors. They are were available in several online museum stores in prices ranging from $48-$70.00. Now, if you can find one, the prices have gone though the roof! There are also several homemade and 3D printed versions for sale on Etsy.
Robert Indiana Inspired Items:
Alexander Girard (1907-1993)
Working in partnership with Charles Eames and George Nelson, Girard helped catapult Herman Miller to the forefront of modern design, creating furnishings, wallpaper, and brilliantly colored textiles rooted in the vibrant simplicity of folk art. Maharam re-issued Alexander Girard’s Checker, Checker Split, Double Triangles, Jacobs Coat, Mikado, Millerstripe, Quatrefoil and Toostripe as part of the Textiles of the 20th Century Collection.
Authentic Alexander Girard Items: (sadly, since I wrote this post these have all sold out)
Alexander Girard International Love Heart and his Love Heart are available on several items:
The Japanese Bearbrick toy featuring Girard’s International Loveheart was a collaboration between máXimo, Stitch Store in Tokyo and Medicom Toy. Medicom Be@rbrick with Alexander Girard’s International Love symbol, shown in both in 400% and 100% sizes
Neither is available, but as always, check ebay. above right: This Medicom Be@rbrick with the LOVE heart by Alexandre Girard is made especially for Colette. The box can be transformed into a card to write a love note. (Was only available at Colette and is sold out.)
Even notecards are available in packages of 20 featuring his heart and other designs:
Buy them here. Sorry, no longer available.
Because this post was written so long ago, almost none of these items are available.