20th Century Art & Design Signature® Auction

The work of Robert Indiana (b. 1928) often consists of bold, simple images: EAT, HUG, and, of course, LOVE, which was featured on an 8-cent U.S. Postal Service stamp in 1973. Nearly 20 years later, Indianas iconic work and the fall of the Berlin Wall would come together to symbolize freedom and unity.

A substantial collection of sections from the East German side of the Wall was purchased soon after it fell by a businessman in Maine. Those pieces of The Berlin Wall arrived safely on U.S. soil in 1990 and the owner of the wall sections decided to commission art work, from internationally renowned artists, on each section. Indiana was among those asked to contribute. In 1991, his original sculpture, WALL/LOVE, was unveiled at Art Expo in New York. It features Indianas iconic “Love” image on one side and the word “Wall” on the other.

Now, almost 40 years after Indiana first created his most famous work, almost 20 years after The Berlin Wall came down, and 17 years after the two were brought together, they will be auctioned off as part Heritage Auction Galleries Dec. 11 auction of 20th Century Decorative and Fine Arts at its Slocum Street Design Annex.

“The piece represents the irony of how the Wall, once a symbol of oppression and the Cold War, became the definitive symbol of freedom and goodwill ? a tangible reminder of the liberation of ideas as well as people,” says Thom Pegg, director of Heritage Auction Galleries 20th Century Art and Design department.

The Florida-based Outdoor Arts Foundation acquired the Berlin Wall collection, including Indianas WALL/LOVE piece, and initiated public art projects involving the collection. The Indiana piece is being auctioned to help fund these initiatives.

“Robert Indiana is a hugely important figure in the world of Pop Art,” Pegg says. “His renowned image of the word LOVE has been executed in many designs and mediums. Now, LOVE is not only a work of art, its a piece of history.”

The sculpture carries an estimate of $500,000-$700,000.

The 20th Century Art & Design Signature® Auction #5014 is scheduled for Dec. 11, 2008.

To view this auction online, go to www.ha.com/5014, or for more information, call 800-872-6467.