An artist known for LOVE sees threats, including at least one death threat, in paintings by a former business partner.

Robert Indiana, 81, whose iconic LOVE design has appeared everywhere from sculptures to postage stamps, filed papers in Manhattan federal court Tuesday, accusing ex-associate John Gilbert of not-so-subtly suggesting harm, according to the New York Post.

On Gilbert's website, www.johngilbertart.com, paintings clearly contain such messages as "IF ANYONE TRIES TO TAKE THE LOVE AWAY From ME, I Will Kill THEM."

That's on Love #5.

Another, titled Shanti, which means "peace" in Sanskrit, states, "Shut your mouth or I will shut it for you."

Indiana, an Indiana native born Robert Clark, is sure that some of the threats were meant for him because Gilbert e-mailed Indiana's assistant to tell her to check the website, according to the report.

The two men have been waging a legal feud over whether Gilbert has a valid contract to license works with Indiana's LOVE-like design that uses the word "prem," Sanskrit for "love."

One of Gilbert's paintings, Bob #2, refers to "his rights" and "my contracts."

Bob uses a LOVE logo to declare, "Without LOVE, I would have been institutionalized."

Philadelphia so highly prizes its prominent LOVE sculpture, displayed in JFK Plaza near City Hall, that the space is often called LOVE Park.

Similar sculptures, however, can be found in more than a dozen other U.S. cities, from New York to Daytona Beach, Fla., to Scottsdale, Ariz.

There's even another one in Philadelphia - Blanche Levy Park at 36th Street and Locust Walk on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Indiana created the logo for a Museum of Modern Art holiday card in 1965.

Contact staff writer Peter Mucha at 215-854-4342 or pmucha@phillynews.com.