Giant Lichtenstein Sculpture Lands at Indianapolis Museum of Art

Roy Lichtenstein, Five Brushstrokes, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. Photo: via Art Daily.

Next month, the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) will unveil its newest acquisition, installing Roy Lichtenstein’s massive Five Brushstrokes on the mall in front of the main museum building, well-positioned to welcome visitors to the institution, reports Artdaily.

With five separate elements, measuring 40 feet tall at its highest point, Five Brushstrokes is perhaps the most ambitious work in Lichtenstein’s Brushstroke series. The artist’s large-scale outdoor sculptures have become favorites among US museums of late. The New Orleans Museum of Art acquired a smaller work by the same name last year, and the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York, welcomed Tokyo Brushstroke I & II (1994) this spring (see artnet News report).

The monumental sculpture was commissioned in the early 1980s by the Stuart Collection at the University of California San Diego, but due to its massive size, was never fabricated at full scale. In 2012, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation produced two examples of the work.

The version of Five Brushstrokes coming to the IMA is an artist’s proof, and its installation will mark the first time that the work has been publicly assembled. One of Lichtenstein’s premier “scatter pieces,” Five Brushstrokes will be an important addition to the institution’s outdoor sculpture program, which also includes Robert Indiana’s original LOVE.

“We have been working in partnership with the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in New York for over a year to bring this iconic work of art to Indianapolis,” IMA director and CEO Charles L. Venable said in a press release. “I am thrilled that with the generous help of some special donors, the IMA is able to acquire this key work by one of America’s greatest artists.  I am confident it will become a beloved addition to the cultural landscape of our state.”

A partial gift from the Lichtenstein Foundation, the Five Brushstrokes acquisition has also been funded by a 2011 behest from the late Robert and Marjorie Mann of Indianapolis, which is dedicated to growing the IMA’s contemporary sculpture collection. Ersal and Izabela Ozdemir have underwritten the statue’s installation costs.

Five Brushstrokes will be unveiled on August 29, 2014.

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