Indianapolis Museum of Art Debuts New Landmark Sculpture

Share Article

Roy Lichtenstein’s Five Brushstrokes makes world premiere in Indianapolis on Aug. 29.

Roy Lichtenstein, Five Brushstrokes, designed 1983–1984, fabricated 2012. Robert L. and Marjorie J. Mann Fund, Partial Gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation. © Roy Lichtenstein Foundation.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art will debut the newest addition to the Museum’s celebrated outdoor sculpture program—Roy Lichtenstein’s monumental Five Brushstrokes— at a Block Party at the IMA on Aug. 29 from 2 to 7 p.m. A sculpture dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. will feature remarks from museum leaders, Lichtenstein Foundation representatives and community dignitaries.

Five Brushstrokes consists of five separate elements, the largest reaching 40 feet high, and has never been assembled. The sculpture, which took several days to install, is a prominent new addition to the campus, displayed in front of the main museum building in the Dudley and Mary Louise Sutphin Mall.

The day of celebration will feature music by local DJs, food trucks and special programming for all ages. Visitors can play lawn games with an artistic twist, join a session of the IMA Drawing Club and add their own brushstroke to the Museum's giant community painting. Visitors will also enjoy an exclusive sneak peek at upcoming programming, ticket giveaways and other surprises.

“The Block Party is indicative of our goal of cultivating exciting and engaging experiences for our visitors,” said Dr. Charles L. Venable, the Melvin & Bren Simon Director and CEO of the IMA. “I’m thrilled that the introduction of this landmark sculpture can be accompanied by captivating hands-on activities, such as painting a massive community artwork.”

Block Party at the IMA is free and open to the public.

About Five Brushstrokes
Five Brushstrokes is considered to be Lichtenstein’s most ambitious work in his Brushstroke series. Consisting of five separate elements, the tallest of which soars 40 feet into the air, the sculpture features a striking collection of forms and colors and is one of Lichtenstein’s premier ‘scatter pieces’.

Five Brushstrokes was originally commissioned by the Stuart Collection at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) in the early 1980s. Throughout much of 1983 and 1984 Lichtenstein worked on the commission, sketching his thoughts, creating color cut outs of each element, and then making a wooden maquette of the work. However, when the final full-scale specifications were produced, the sculpture’s huge scale prevented its fabrication. Following Lichtenstein’s death in 1997, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation was established with the purpose of increasing the world’s exposure to the work of Roy Lichtenstein. The Foundation funded the fabrication of two examples of the Five Brushstrokes in 2012: the artist proof being acquired by the Indianapolis Museum of Art and an edition of one that is still owned by the Foundation. The IMA acquired Five Brushstrokes through the generosity of the Lichtenstein Foundation and the late Robert and Marjorie Mann of Indianapolis, who established an acquisitions fund for contemporary sculpture through a bequest in 2011. The installation is generously being underwritten by Ersal and Izabela Ozdemir.

About Roy Lichtenstein
Roy Lichtenstein (American, 1923 – 1997) was born in New York City and had his first solo exhibition in the city in 1951. By 1962 Lichtenstein was showing at the prestigious Leo Castelli Gallery, where he exhibited his signature comic strip paintings. He made sculptural works as well in the early 1960s in the form of utilitarian-style objects and mannequin-style heads, both directly influenced by the representation of commercial techniques in his paintings. As his career progressed, the artist’s sculpture evolved with his painting. In the 1980s this convergence of media culminated in his monumental Brushstroke sculpture series. Evoking the movement and color of paint on canvas, these totem-like works suspend the artist’s sweeping brushstrokes in midair, balancing one on top of the other in a dynamic sculptural spectacle. Examples from the Brushstroke series are now in the collections of leading museums around the world, including the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia (Madrid), Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles) and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington, DC).

About the Indianapolis Museum of Art
Founded in 1883, the Indianapolis Museum of Art serves the creative interests of its communities by fostering exploration of arts, design and the natural environment. Encompassing 152 acres of gardens and grounds, the IMA is among the 10 oldest and 10 largest encyclopedic art museums in the United States and features significant collections of African, American, Asian, European, contemporary art and design arts that spans 5,000 years of history. Additionally, art, design and nature are featured at The Virginia B. Fairbanks Art & Nature Park: 100 Acres, Oldfields–Lilly House & Gardens, a historic Country Place Era estate and National Historic Landmark on the IMA grounds, and the Miller House and Garden in Columbus, Indiana, one of the country’s most highly regarded examples of mid-century Modernist residences. For more information visit

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Stephanie Perry
Indianapolis Museum of Art
+1 (317) 923-1331 Ext: 231
Email >
Visit website