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Auction: Contemporary Art Part I
was auctioned on: 15 May 2008
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Robert Indiana

Estimate: US$300,000 - US$500,000
Price realised:  US$361,000
Lot number 143, Views: 41

Robert Indiana Nocturnal Nonagon 2002 Oil on canvas. 70 x 60 in. (177.8 x 152.4 cm). Stamped “Robert Indiana 02” on the reverse.
Provenance Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York; Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles Exhibited New York, Paul Kasmin Gallery, Robert Indiana, February 14 - March 22, 2003 Literature N. Kernan, Robert Indiana: Recent Paintings, New York, 2003, n.p. pl. 10 (illustrated) Catalogue Essay The forthright directness of Indiana’s “signs” and messages belies the fact that these are never neutral, nor empty: the human eyes that see and read these signs are always strongly conjured by the artist, in order to interact with these signs. In other words, the eyes for whom Indiana’s signs are created are never supposed to be brainless, nor passive: on the contrary, they are expected to react, respond with all their “humanity”—i.e. their prejudices, their “background,” their questions, anxieties as well as their hope. Indiana’s “signscapes” are not “for your eyes only,” they are also for your brain and soul. They fall flat, and lose their raison d’etre if there is no humanity to grasp them.J. Pissaro, “Signs into Art,” Robert Indiana: Retrospective 1958-1998, Nice, 1998, p. 16 Robert Indiana’s iconic Pop images are derived from the signage of early Post-war American culture.These images use crisp lines, bold lettering and strong geometric shapes to make a statement that is strongly visual and subtly cerebral. Nocturnal Nonagan is exemplary of Indiana’s work during this era.The simplicity of the visual languages eludes the more complex commentary on modern culture and the public acceptance of advertising. Indiana is concerned, on the one hand, for the manipulative meaning that underlies these appealing messages, masked by visually attractive signage, as a symbol of modern culture. On the other hand, the stylized character of Indiana’s paintings retain a nostalgia for a bygone era. Noctornal Nonagan taps into human nature in its ability to rise above the façade of simplicity and retain an introspective complexity. Read More

Informations about the auction
Auction house: Phillips
Title: Contemporary Art Part I
Date of the auction: 15 May 2008
Address: Phillips
15 May  2008, 7pm New York