PORTLAND.- As part of the statewide collaboration "The Print Project," the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art presents "The Hartley Elegies" by Robert Indiana. Beginning his career in the early 1960s in New York as a member of the influential Coenties Slip group, which included Ellsworth Kelly, Agnes Martin and James Rosenquist. Robert Indiana is widely regarded as one of the most important painters, sculptors, and printmakers working today. Perhaps most famous for his "LOVE" image, which has appeared in prints, monumental sculpture, and postage stamps, Indiana profoundly influenced Pop and Minimal Art as well as reductive abstraction in the United States. Driven by a strong pacifist sensibility, Indiana makes spare, powerful text-images that combine contemporary social commentary with a keen awareness of the legacy of avant-garde art. The ICA at MECA’s exhibition features the Hartley Elegies of 1990 and 1991, a powerful series of large-scale silkscreens inspired by Maine-based painter Marsden Hartley’s famous 1914 painting Portrait of a German Officer, a symbolic representation of a beloved friend, Karl von Freyburg, who was killed in the First World War.
Born Robert Clark in New Castle, Indiana, the artist studied at art schools in Indianapolis, New York, Chicago and Maine. Indiana lives and works in Vinalhaven, Maine. His work has been featured in numerous international exhibitions.
In conjunction with the Robert Indiana series, the ICA at MECA will also be exhibiting MECA Prints: Master Editions and Public Actions, work produced by the College's Printmaking Department. This includes collaborative print suites produced over the past ten years as well as prints by visiting artists Mark Dion, Tim Rollins, Amy Yoes, Carlo Pittore and Rick Lowe. The exhibition runs through February 4, 2007.