aluminium, painted red and blue
91,4 x 91,4 x 45,7 cm (36 x 36 x 18 in.)
with signature, dated, numbered and with foundry and copyright stamp edition of 8 + 1 AP
In 2008, Robert Indiana created "HOPE", the successor to his world-famous "LOVE". Picking up the now famous typography, the artist also inclined the O in "HOPE". As with "LOVE", Indiana developed different colour schemes for this version and executed the design in different media and formats. Forty-five years after he created "LOVE", which to no small degree reflected the social and political circumstances and was oriented in both form and content to the culture of the time, Indiana wanted to set a new mark for the mood of those years with HOPE as well. The contemporary occasion for the creation of HOPE was Robert Indiana's willingness to support the election campaign of the then presidential candidate Barack Obama. His campaign was based to an important extent on the slogan "Hope", which the street art artist Shepard Fairey first implemented in a poster in 2008: a stylised portrait of Obama in the style of the typical graffiti "stencil" aesthetic, under which the word "HOPE" appeared in capital letters. The slogan and Fairey's poster quickly gained wide recognition and popularity. It was a logical step for Indiana to follow it up with his work. However, Indiana had long before that time considered the possibility of transferring the now classic "LOVE" design to the word "HOPE". The artist had been experimenting with this plan for several years until 2008, when the external actual event also provided the occasion for implementation. Indiana himself commented on the clear genetic connection between his two creations as follows: "It is indeed a brother of LOVE, or a sister or a very close family member". Indeed, a great deal of American cultural history plays a role in Indiana's two works, in the Christian spirituality of which the relationship of love and hope in God, who is identified with those two terms much more directly than in the European tradition, plays a major role. One might think that Indiana had in mind a visualisation of the three Christian cardinal virtues of faith, love and hope. Nevertheless, there is also a concrete autobiographical connection of Indiana with the word "Hope", which again is very close to the mentioned, typically American cultural tradition. As early as 1969, Robert Indiana repeatedly stayed in the coastal town of Vinalhaven, which is home to a small colony of artists. In 1978, he finally bought the house in which he lived permanently from then on - a lodge called "Star of Hope", a former seat of the humanistic secular order of "Odd Fellows". Indiana's stainless-steel sculpture of "HOPE" adds lustre and strength to the idealistic concept through ist material aesthetics. The signal-like effect of the red and blue setting in brilliant primary colours, entirely in the style of Pop Art, creates a unique, contemporary signal effect.