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Hulking Robert Indiana sculptures coming to Outer Harbor

Ten 2,000-pound sculptures by Robert Indiana, the groundbreaking artist best known for his iconic "LOVE" prints and sculptures, will soon be installed along Buffalo's Outer Harbor as part of a summerlong celebration of Indiana's career.

The installation of the 8-foot-tall steel numbers was approved Monday morning by the board of the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. The temporary loan is timed to coincide with the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's exhibition "Robert Indiana: A Sculpture Retrospective," running June 16 to Sept. 23.

"NUMBERS ONE through ZERO" features 10 towering pieces of weathering steel. They will be installed in early June along Wilkeson Pointe, a windswept section of the Outer Harbor near Times Nature Preserve that has become a popular summertime destination.

It will join Larry Griffis Jr.'s Instagram-worthy "Flat Man" sculpture, relocated to the Outer Harbor last year, along with a collection of metal wind sculptures by Whitaker Studios that draw art-lovers to the edge of Lake Erie.

"Wilkeson Pointe is the perfect place to display these iconic works by Robert Indiana," Christopher Schoepflin, vice president of ECHDC parent Empire State Development, said in a statement. "By partnering with a renowned institution such as the Albright-Knox, we are both expanding the public’s interaction with art, and activating the Outer Harbor to bring more people to the waterfront."

Albright-Knox Deputy Director Joe Lin-Hill, who organized the gallery's Indiana retrospective, called the numbers "extraordinary works by one of America’s foremost artists."

Indiana's numbers have previously been exhibited in Spain, Italy and near Philip Johnson's famous "Glass House" in New Canaan, Conn.

"Displayed on important boulevards in Madrid, Valencia, Bilbao and Lisbon, and on the Corso Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, 'ONE through ZERO' made a powerful statement in each city," according to a description of the work on Indiana's website. "The 'Numbers' became part of each particular urban landscape; they were exhibited differently in the participating cities, giving the public a unique local experience of the same works."

Trio of murals to kick off Buffalo's summer of public art

The ECHDC board also Monday approved a contract for $480,000 with the Victor-based firm Dixon Schwabl Inc. to launch a new website and brand for Canalside and the Outer Harbor. The new brand and website will go live in 2019.

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