Louise Nevelson, ‘Plant’, 1975, Rago

With many of Louise Nevelson’s sculptures filling walls, rooms, or even outdoor plazas, her small-scale sculptures, such as Plant, are a treasured rarity. Though unlike her large sculptures in scale, Nevelson broaches one of the themes most common in her oeuvre: reinvention. This interest has autobiographical importance to the immigrant artist, and is reflected in Nevelson’s material use of discarded or scrap wood in her works. From tree to wood to scrap to Plant, Nevelson’s work is a sculptural rebirth of her favorite material. The impact of Nevelson on the New York art scene is soon to resurface with Laurie Wilson’s biography on the female sculptor, Louise Nevelson: Light and Shadow, debuting this fall.

Signature: Stamped initials

About Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson’s room-sized wood sculptures have been hailed as emblematic of many different movements, including Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Monochromatic and usually black, with isolated departures into white and gold, Nevelson assembled the sculptures using discarded pieces of wood that she received or found on the street. As part of Nevelson’s massive, commanding works of art, the scrap wood takes on majestic proportions, reflecting the artist’s personal story of dislocation and self-invention. In Mrs. N’s Palace (1964-1977), a 20-foot-wide tomb-like sculpture with a hollow interior, mirrored floor, and artifacts from her life, Nevelson provides a glimpse into her own physical and personal history.

American, 1899-1988, Kiev, Ukraine, based in New York, New York