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Arts & Culture

McNay’s ‘Beyond Love’ A Superb Illumination of LOVE-master Robert Indiana

Photo: Courtesy images, License: N/A

Courtesy images

'Mate' wooden sculpture

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Courtesy images

'LOVE' aluminum sculpture

Indiana isn’t just an inheritor, but a generator. While his clean, simple, declarative text can be seen as reaction to the scribbled graphomania of DeKooning, in absorbing his gospels of ERR, EAT, DIE, LOVE, I thought of the SILENCE=DEATH iconography of Act Up in the 1980s. The nimble foregrounding of text as image can be found later in the work of contemporary artists Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer.

One of the great, unexpected pleasures of “Beyond Love” is its exuberant ambition as a material documentation of midcentury New York City, just at the moment the city emerged as the contemporary-art beacon of the world. It seems poetic that in the years after Indiana decamped his New York studio in the Coetzee Slip, that Melville-era shipping inlet (whose wooden remnants he used in his work) was paved over to make way for Wall Street’s expansion.

Robert Indiana: Beyond Love

$10-$15; free for members; Free 4-9 pm Thu
10am-4pm Tue, Wed, Fri; 10am-9pm Thu; 10am-5pm Sat; Noon-5pm Sun
McNay Art Museum
6000 N New Braunfels
(210) 824-5368
Through May 25

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