About the Artwork

The Numbers sculptures are a monumental example of Robert Indiana’s long-held fascination with the power of numbers, a subject which stands as one of his most important iconographic themes. Indiana has famously credited his enduring interest in numbers to the formative experience of moving households multiple times as a child – moving between twenty-one different homes by the age of seventeen – while he has also emphasized his embrace of the variety of meanings and associations that numbers can generate. Describing his enduring attraction to numbers, Indiana has emphasized that “each one [is] loaded with multiple references and significances.” Every number has a specific personal resonance for Indiana, relating either to events in his own life (such as highway routes and buildings where he lived), or to the cycle of life itself. For Indiana, the number one represents birth, with the numbers ascending through adolescence to maturity, ending with the number zero, which stands for death. Like his sculptural interpretation of his originally two-dimensional subject of LOVE, the Numbers suggest that the printed form has been extruded into space. Their depth, which is about half their width, gives the forms a monumental solidity that underlines the way the sculptures stand as a poetic condensation of Indiana’s multifaceted engagement with the symbolic, allegorical and formal aspects of numbers.

Year: 1980/2001

Copyright Morgan Art Foundation, Artists Rights Sociaty (ARS), New York / DACS, London


polychrome aluminium on steel base


198.1 x 188 x 96.5 cm each