Louise Nevelson: Sculptor
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Louise Nevelson: Sculptor
Louise Nevelson was born Louise Berliawsky in 1899 in Kiev, Russia. Her family immigrated to the U.S. in 1904 to Rockland, Maine. Her father was a successful builder and lumberyard owner. This fact would have some influence on her later artwork.
In 1920 she married Charles Nevelson and moved to New York. At this time she studied visual and performing arts, including drama. In 1928 she enrolled at the Art Students League.
From 1932-33 Nevelson worked with Diego Rivera on his murals in New York. The mural was later removed because of the communist theme it portrayed.
She started to make sculpture in 1932 and in 1944 she began experimenting with wooden assemblages.
Untitled, 1950’s, painted wood. 31x12x11.5”
Sky Cathedral, 1958, Wood 115x135x20” Albright-Knox Art Gallery, New York
Near the end of the 1950’s, she began the ‘sculptured walls’ for which she later became internationally famous.
These were wall-like reliefs made up of many boxes and compartments into which abstract shapes are assembled together with commonplace objects such as chair legs, bits of balustrades, and other ‘found objects’. Dawn’s Wedding Chapel IV, 1959, Painted wood. 109x87x13”
Royal Tide I, 1960, Painted wood 86x40x8”
Nevelson’s creative assemblages were sometimes painted a uniform black, or later white or gold. They won her a reputation as a leader in abstract art in America. She was a flamboyant character, dressing very dramatically and wearing layers of mink eyelashes. She said, “Some of us come on earth seeing – some of us come on earth seeing color.”
She was also known for her environmental sculptures.
Above: Seventh Decade in a Forest, 1971-76. Aluminum & steel, Baltimore, Maryland. Right: Dawn Shadows, 1983, 33 tons of Aluminum & steel, Los Angeles.
Dark Presence III, 1971.
In 1967, Louise had a woman’s show at the Whitney Museum which became the turning point in her life. She continued to create and exhibit her works during the 70’s and 80’s.
The U.S. Postal Service even paid tribute to Louise Nevelson by making stamps with her artwork on them.
Louise Nevelson was a woman with a very independent mind who threw off the shackles and restrictions of her life to become an outstanding sculptor. She lived until 1988.
Resources: www.enotes.com www.guggenheimcollection.org www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org.
Your assignment will be to create your own portion of an assemblage. To do this, you will begin with a shoebox, which will hold your sculpture. Then, you will glue items that you have brought which have meaning to you into the box. Pay attention to the way the items are placed.
Next, you will choose a color that you think represents you. You will paint most of the things in your box a solid color, in the style of Louise Nevelson.
Lastly, to complete your box you will add the letters of your first name in some creative way. The letters must be put on some items, not just written or painted into your box.
When everyone is finished with their boxes, we will hot glue all of them together to create a “wall” assemblage to display that tells others something about each one of you. By putting them all together, you create something bigger and more diverse than any one of you would be able to achieve. DO NOT RUSH THIS!!! Your work needs to look nice and neat so it can be displayed.