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A Closer Look: Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson is one of my favorite artists.  A master of found object sculpture, she was known for her room-sized wall pieces made of wood & painted in monotone.  Almost all her work is flat black, but she also created work in gold, white, and green.

 

By working in monotone, Nevelson was able to emphasize the formal qualities of her objects, elevating scraps of wood to beautiful compositions.   She was a master at joining together disparate forms to create a sense of balance and mystery.

 

Many people acknowledge a connection between Nevelson’s work and the Abstract Expressionist movement of the 1940s-1950s.  This movement emphasized grand themes like masculinity, the subconcious, and the sublime, and included painters like Jackson Pollack and Franz Kline.

In addition to working in wood, Nevelson also created a large number of outdoor steel sculptures.  These works maintain the vitality of her more intimate works, but on a grand scale.  They can be seen in many public places across the country, inluding a plaza named after her in New York’s financial district.

Louise Nevelson’s unique style continues to influence artists and designers up to the present day.  Take a closer look and see what you discover.

-Robert

image 1: sfmoma

image 2: art ideas

image 3: dna info

image 4: mutual art

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