The Arts
Art Highlights of Indianapolis
August 24, 2017
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5 Brushstrokes - Roy Lichtenstein, 1983-84

When you think of Indianapolis, you are more likely to picture motor racing than art. That might change after you read this post! Following a weekend exploring the city, I was impressed with the volume and quality of art in Indy, as well as the creativity that is evident in its cultural districts. Here are some of my art highlights of Indianapolis including pieces from the Indianapolis Museum of Art; 100 Acres: Virginia Fairbanks Art & Nature Park; and the Cultural Trail.

Numbers - Robert Indiana, 1980-83
Numbers - Robert Indiana, 1980-83
Love - Robert Indiana, 1970
Love - Robert Indiana, 1970

Above: Robert Indiana’s “Numbers” are an exploration of numbers and symbolism throughout our life. Each number holds a personal significance for Indiana, such as building numbers he lived in. However, there is also a general reference to life, one representing birth and ending in zero as death.

Left: The original Robert Indiana “Love” sculpture. Though you may have seen similar Indiana works before, this was the first. Robert Indiana was born in New Castle, Indiana as Robert Clark. He began using “Indiana” as his surname to honour his childhood home, when he moved to New York City in the late fifties.

Below: Ingrid Calame created this abstract artwork by visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and making tracings of skid marks and tyre tracks made by racing cars. These tracings formed the basis of the design, which was built up in layers of oil-based enamel paints like those used on race vehicles, to produce an exuberant expression of the Indy 500 race.

From #258 Drawing - Ingrid Calame, 2007
From #258 Drawing - Ingrid Calame, 2007
Untitled - Donald Judd, 1967
Untitled - Donald Judd, 1967

Above: Donald Judd, created this minamilist piece as part of a series of works he began in 1964. The artwork consists of a brass bar and five steel boxes in cadmium red, a signature colour of the artist. From right to left, the boxes double in length, while the negative space between them shortens at a similar rate, creating a pattern.

Right: American Impressionist, Frank Weston Benson, painted this piece modelled by his daughter Eleanor in Maine. Benson was known for his plein air paintings and regularly had his wife and daughter pose for his works.

Below: Viewed up close, one can see this “cloth” is composed of recycled lids from liquor bottles, flattened and threaded together with copper wire. From a distance, this glittering wall sculpture conjurs images of Gustav Klimt’s paintings. Ghanian artist, El Anatsui, created the cloth out of these unconventional materials as a comment on consumerism and the ongoing impact of the colonial run trade in Africa. The pattern was inspired by traditional West African textiles.

Sunlight - Frank Weston Benson, 1909
Sunlight - Frank Weston Benson, 1909
Duvor (communal cloth) - El Anatsui, 2007
Duvor (communal cloth) - El Anatsui, 2007
Art Highlights of Indianapolis
Duvor close-up
Möbius Ship - Tim Hawkinson, 2006
Möbius Ship - Tim Hawkinson, 2006

Above: Möbius Ship is the work of American artist Tim Hawkinson, who created the piece from various materials including wood, plastic and acrylic. He was inspired to create the fascinating 10-foot sculpture by the story of Moby Dick and the mathematical concept of a Möbius strip. Hawkinson employed methods used by “ship in a bottle” makers, to construct the artwork.

Five Brushstrokes by Roy Lichtenstein at the Indy Museum of Art
Five Brushstrokes by Roy Lichtenstein at the Indy Museum of Art

Left: Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein created Five Brushstrokes as a satirical take on the Abstract Expressionist paint movement. The magnified brushstrokes are caricatures of the pouring, dripping and splashing techniques used by artists such as Jackson Pollack.

Below: Havana-based Cuban artist collective Los Carpinteros (The Carpenters), were commissioned in 2010 by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the result was “Free Basket.” The sculpture located in 100 Acres: Virgina B Fairbanks Art & Nature Park, makes the trajectory of a bouncing basketball a tangible arc of colour. The piece is a nod to the popularity of basketball in Indiana.

100 Acres: Virginia B Fairbanks Art & Nature Park | Creative Corners - How to Spend a Weekend in Indianapolis
Free Basket by Los Carpinteros (2010) at 100 Acres

Right: Michael Kuschnir created “Looking Through Windows” while a student at the Herron School of Art & Design at Indianapolis University Purdue University Indianapolis. His gestural sculpture won a competition for a temporary art project on the site, and he later donated the piece to the Indianapolis Cultural Trail. Kuschnir was inspired by talking to people in the neighbourhood, and took existing windows from Indiana Ave to use in the artwork.

Looking Through Windows - Michael Kuschnir, 2012
Looking Through Windows - Michael Kuschnir, 2012

Below: This larger-than-life abstract sculpture was created by American artist Tara Donovan in reflective Mylar. The untitled piece depicts organic shapes that are a signature of Donovan’s work. The molecular form was created by rolling Mylar circles into cones, and clustering them into various sized spheres.

Untitled - Tara Donovan, 2010
Untitled - Tara Donovan, 2010
Crazy Quilts
Crazy Quilts

Above: Crazy quilts were first popular in the United States during the 1880-90s. They regained popularity in the 1960’s due to the rise of bohemian fashion. The asymmetrical patchworks were made of scraps, and were often embellished with rings, screen printing, embroidered initials and symbols etc in memory of people and events.

Walk the cultural trail | Creative Corners - How to Spend a Weekend in Indianapolis
The Tent by Donald Lipski

Above left: Author, poet and tv personality, Mari Evans, was honored in this mural on Mass Ave by Michael “Alkemi” Jordan painted in 2016.

Above right: The Tent by Donald Lipski was commissioned in 2008 for the 50th anniversary of the Indy 500 Festival. The coloured panels are hinged so that they move with the wind. Additionally, the sculpture is lit from the interior at night to create a flickering, pixilation effect.

Below: The faded 1973 mural of Austrian artist Roland Hobart, who relocated to the United States in 1966. Hobart won the Indianapolis Urban Walls Project competition for the design that originally occupied two walls.

Roland Hobart mural, Indianapolis, 1973
Roland Hobart mural, 1973
Robert Bentley mural 2012
Robert Bentley mural 2012

Above: Local Indiana street artist, Robert Bentley, completed this mural as a class project while he was studying at Herron School of Art and Design in 2012.

I hope you found a little Duende in this collection of art highlights from Indianapolis. For more on how to spend a weekend in Indy, next week there will be a Creative Corners installment just for you.

Peace, love and inspiring travel,

Madam ZoZo

Art Highlights of Indianapolis | Duende by Madam ZoZo

About author

Madam ZoZo

Hi! I’m Madam ZoZo, aka Zoë, an Australian designer, creative consultant, blogger and digital nomad. I’m passionate about travel, design, dance and new experiences that fuel my creativity. I strive to travel in a style that is gentle on the earth and that contributes to the communities I visits, even if it is merely to take away a greater understanding of a different culture. Duende by Madam ZoZo, is where I share the stories of my travels and the duende (soul/inspiration) I find along the way.

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