Robert Indiana - Contemporary Art Day Sale New York Thursday, November 15, 2012 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Marisa del Re Gallery, New York
    Sale: Sotheby's, New York, Contemporary Art Morning, May 16, 2001, lot 110
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

  • Catalogue Essay

    What I am thinking about is the very elementary part that language plays in man’s thinking processes and this includes his identifcation of anything visual and that is I’m sure that the word, the object, and the idea are almost inextricably lost in the mind, and to divide them and to break them down is not really – it doesn’t have to be done.

    (Robert Indiana quoted in “Oral history interview with Robert Indiana”, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 1963).

    Using text and symbols side by side within his works, Robert Indiana is best known for his ability to create holistic works that frame literal ideas in aesthetic frameworks. The present lot, Yield Brother Samuel, 1966, is archetypal of Indiana’s use of symbolism. The stenciled letters and simple color palette allude to the simplistic form of military signage. The deep green of the background in contrast with the white circle and blue stars also suggests a military theme. The addition of the text makes the work
    somewhat ironic in that it calls for peace yet the work is cloaked in military tropes. Throughout his body of work Indiana uses text and symbols to create compelling works that blend the literal and the visual.


Yield Brother Samuel

oil on linen
24 1/8 x 22 1/8 in. (61.3 x 56.2 cm)
Signed, inscribed, and dated "Indiana New York 66" on the reverse.

$150,000 - 200,000 

Sold for $170,500

Contemporary Art Day Sale

16 November 2012
New York