Five Brushstrokes

Indianapolis Museum of Art acquires new sculpture

Brushstrokes are a common sight at art museums—some blended and almost indiscernible, some bold and prominent, but usually no more than a few inches across. However, thanks to a new installation in the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s sculpture garden, local art enthusiasts can now encounter towering strokes ten times their height.

Five Brushstrokes is the most recent addition to the IMA’s sculpture garden. The museum unveiled the acquisition on August 29, 2014 with a day-long celebration that featured a performance from Ben Davis’s percussion line and a speech from the artist’s wife.

Museum employees believe that this pop art piece will become as well-known and beloved as Robert Indiana’s LOVE statue that greets patrons as they enter the museum grounds.

The artwork is attributed to Roy Lichtenstein, although he did not assemble the sculpture. Commissioned in the early 1980s by the Stuart Collection at the University of California San Diego, Five Brushstrokes occupied Lichtenstein from 1983 to 1984. He sketched his ideas and created small-scale copies, but the piece’s large size kept it from being produced before the artist’s 1997 death. In 2012, the Roy Lichtenstein foundation funded the fabrication of the sculpture.

Junior Lina Kramer enjoyed visiting Five Brushstrokes.

“I liked it because it’s something small that was made big and because it adds color to the park,” Kramer said.

Five Brushstrokes is a permanent installation and is free to the public. The IMA is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday (aside from Thursday, when it closes at 9 p.m.) and from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.