A "LOVE" sculpture has landed in University Park, thanks to a Dallas family.
The famous sculpture is on long-term loan from Pauline and Austin Neuhoff, who just celebrated their 25th anniversary and decided to give the romantic piece of art to the city of University Park. As "love" would have it, the announcement landed two and a half weeks before Valentine's Day.
The 6-foot by 6-foot polychrome aluminum sculpture is located in a public park called Williams Park, located on Turtle Creek, just east of Preston Road on University Boulevard. Anyone can visit the park during its open hours, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., to take photos or enjoy a picnic on the benches and tables nearby.
The piece of art is explained as an "authentic version" of the "LOVE" sculpture, because the original steel piece, installed in 1970, remains at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. This piece in North Texas was also created by artist Robert Indiana, confirms Steve Mace, director of communications and marketing for the city of University Park.
Indiana's "LOVE" has been called "one of the most recognizable images in 20th-century art" in a 2018 Washington Post story written two months after he died at 89 years old. (TheWaPo story chronicles the "epic legal struggle" that involves parts of the artist's $28 million estate.) "LOVE" is also one of the world's "most plagiarized works of art," the New York Times notes.
"LOVE" started as an image on a Christmas card in the mid 1960s and has since been plastered in many places, in part because Indiana's design was never copyrighted, The Art Newspaper says. In essence, it was his most famous piece, one that "cinched my whole career, it put me on the map," Indiana told The Art Newspaper. "But, it has also caused me grief and unhappiness, rip-offs and endless unpleasantness."
Indiana was a political pop artist, creating works throughout his career that "could have got me thrown into jail," he is quoted as saying. The "LOVE" sculpture features an iconic crooked O, and a sign that Indiana loves to work with words. Some of his other pieces featured words like "eat" and "die."
Versions of the "LOVE" sculpture are located across the country. One of the 30 or so sculptures will land at the Milwaukee Art Museum this spring, for instance. The installation in a public place in Philadelphia famously helped John F. Kennedy Plaza get a shorter nickname, LOVE Park.
The sculpture in University Park supports a goal of having art in parks, notes the city of University Park's City Council minutes from Aug. 7, 2018. The city did not have to pay for "LOVE" because it is owned by the Neuhoffs and gifted to the city on long-term loan.
A committee of residents chose its location in Williams Park — a pretty green space popular with families and couples walking in University Park. And it isn't a pop-up installation; it was brought in by a crane and bolted to the ground.
Art lovers, "LOVE" will likely remain at Williams Park "for years to come," Mace says.