You are in Artists > Louise Nevelson
Place(s) of work: New York (us)
Louise Nevelson constructed her sculpture much as she constructed her past: shaping each with her legendary sense of self as she created an extraordinary iconography through abstract means. Nevelson was recognized during her lifetime as one of America's most prominent and innovative sculptors. The sculpture for which she is best known was made of cast-off wood parts -- actual street throwaways -- transformed with monochromatic spray paint. Through her elegant room-size works, Nevelson regularly summoned themes linked to her complicated past, fractious present, and anticipated future. Whether expressed literally or metaphorically, in representational paintings or outsize abstract sculpture, in early self-portraits or edgy middle-year projects, Nevelson's sense of selfhood was a force that propelled her work.
Born Leah Berliawsky, Nevelson came to America in 1905 from Kiev in the Ukraine. The artist's personal story -- her migration to America, her initial struggle as a woman artist, and the march of modern art movements such as Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Minimalism, feminism, and installation -- form a rich platform from which to view Nevelson's compelling sculpture.
“The work that I do is not the matter and it isn’t the colour," Nevelson once said, “It adds up to the in-between place, between the material I use and the manifestation afterwards; the dawns and the dusks, the places between the land and the sea. The place of in-between means that all of this that I use—and you can put a label on it like ‘black’—is something I'm using to say something else."
Watch a 1976 interview with Nevelson [via Duke University's digital library](read less)
Techniques & Media: Painting, Sculpture
Inspirations & Key Themes: Abstract Expressionism, Feminism, the Holocaust, Minimalism, Sexuality, Surrealism
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