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Purim: Four Facets of Esther

Robert Indiana (American, b. 1928)

Purim: Four Facets of Esther, 1967

  • Screenprint on paper
  • 29 7/16 x 23 1/2 in. (74.8 x 59.7 cm)
  • The Jewish Museum, New York
  • Commissioned by The Jewish Museum, JM 109-67
  • © 2008 Morgan Art Foundation Ltd. / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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Purim: Four Facets of Esther

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Purim: Four Facets of Esther

Robert Clark was born in Indiana in 1928 and later took the name of his birthplace as his own. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago from 1949 to 1953 and moved to New York in 1954. There he met Ellsworth Kelly, Jack Youngerman, and other artists working in an abstract mode. Indiana was especially influenced by Kelly's hard-edged painting style. In the early 1960s, Indiana began to experiment with stencils, creating the kinds of brightly colored paintings of numbers and words for which he would become known.

Although Robert Indiana is associated with the Pop art movement, his work is often more personal than that of his Pop art contemporaries. Indiana alludes to road signs and other features of consumer culture but uses these symbols to reflect his own autobiography and identity as an American. Words like eat and tilt, for example, recall the roadside diners and pinball machines of his Depression-era childhood.