The talented Deborah Ripley in Artnet news offers a little commentary on Robert Indiana’s market and the role played by his large Love sculptures in the broader sales of his work. It turns out that the Love sculptures reached their apex in 2011 when the growing dollar value of the works made his market 3/4ths Love sales.
That was not the first time the works most identified with the artist have ended up accounting for a majority of his sales volume. As you can see from the chart Ripley provides that 2007 was another peak Love year.
Data provided by artnet Analytics show that in 2011, the iconic painted pieces Indiana fabricated in the 1990s represented 72% of the artist’s sales volume, and in 2012 the sculptures accounted for 64% of the volume—both figures more than twice that of the total sales volume in 2002, which stood at but 25%.
The highest price ever achieved for the artist at auction was US$4,114,500; that was in 2011 and for the largest sculpture in an edition of three. The second-highest price paid for a Love sculpture was for the third, larger sculpture in the same series, which was purchased for US$3,513,000 in 2007.
Robert Indiana “Love” sculptures (Artnet News)