Collection: Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson
b. 1899 Kiev, Ukraine; d. 1988, New York City
Untitled, circa early 1980s
Painted wood
88 x 26 x 4 inches
Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, gift of the American Art Foundation
City Light Studio; Tim McAfee, photographer; July 1, 1996¶Nancy Robinson Watson

This work by Louise Nevelson is a strong example of her assemblages, painted sculptures and wall works made from wooden pieces of salvaged furniture, boxes, windows, and doors. The daughter of Jewish immigrants and lumber and used furniture tradesmen, Nevelson's work mixes her biography with interests in both Cubist forms and Surrealist psychology. The title Dream House identifies her sculpture as a container or shelter for the unconscious and references her engagement with both psychoanalysis and non-rational states. Her works additionally evidence her interest in designs derived from non-western contexts. Starting in the early 1950s she travelled several times to Mexico and Guatemala, where Mayan architecture and sculpture had a strong influence on her development of monolithic structures involving the use of repeated geometric forms. ¶¶Alchemy was a word Nevelson used often to describe the rich black pigment she used to unify her diverse forms. She also used this word to articulate her entire artistic process-the manner in which she transformed the living material of trees, which had previously been made into domestic objects, discarded, and often broken, into mystical totems, artworks that reference and honor the sun, moon, heavens, and spiritual realms. ¶

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