Robert Indiana: The Hartley Elegies

Robert Indiana KVF I, 1990 serigraph Gift of the Artist

October 1 – December 17, 2005


Published in the early 1990s, Robert Indiana’s The Hartley Elegies are an homage to American modernist and Lewiston native Marsden Hartley, a painter and poet with whom Indiana finds artistic and personal kinship. The imagery in these ten large-scale prints is drawn from Hartley’s 1914-15 “German Officer” paintings, created after the death of the young soldier Karl von Freyburg, a devastating event in Hartley’s life. In his distinctive hard-edged style, Indiana unites military insignia and geometric forms with references to Maine, America, war, and historical events to create a series of symbolic portraits. With the largest holding of Hartley material in the state, the Bates College Museum of Art is pleased to present The Hartley Elegies in recognition of Indiana’s and Hartley’s ties to Maine and their stature as American artists.

A catalogue with an essay by noted Indiana scholar Susan Elizabeth Ryan will be published this fall as the first in a series of Bates College Museum of Art “Collection Project” books.