Artwork Spotlight: Louise Nevelson’s Untitled, 1956

The Art Genome Project
Oct 17, 2014 3:57pm
"The way I think is collage," claimed Louise Nevelson
While the Russian-born sculptor was best known for her monochromatic, large-scale wood assemblages, it was the principles of collage, demonstrated in works like Untitled that inspired her iconic sculptures. In the same way that Nevelson carefully arranged pieces of found wooden and steel objects into monumental sculptures, Nevelson's two-dimensional collage works maintain her practice of salvaging found material like the mirror and cardboard used in this work, and organizing them in a loose geometric composition. Emphasizing surface, line, and orientation, works like this,  reveal the influence of Cubism and Nevelson's early training with German Abstract Expressionist painter Hans Hofmann, whose work often foregrounded geometric shapes. Often considered a type of sketching or preparatory work for her larger sculptures, collages like Untitled, belie many of Nevelson's conscientious decisions about structure, scale, surface and depth.