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By S. Z.


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Louise Nevelson (1900 - 1988)

Construction in the style of Louise Nevelson by S. Z.

The History of Her Life

Louise Nevelson was born in 1900 in Kiev, Russia. At age five, she immigrated from Russia to Rockland, Maine. By age nine, Louise knew she wanted to be a sculptor. By age 20, Louise had gotten married and had moved to New York. Soon after she left her husband and child to pursue her passion for art. In 1941, Nevelson had her first exhibition in New York. Her work didn't begin to sell until she was in her fifties, after her art was in an anthology at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Her last work before her death was a thirty-eight foot black steel sculpture for the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Her Art of Sculpture

Louise Nevelson is an "environmental sculptor" who first used stone, wood, and terra cotta in her works. Then in the year 1957, she got the idea to use a box of liquor with its partitions to put her previous works of art into, and created a whole new type of sculpture. She then began to use wood, cast metal, found objects, and other materials to construct her new type of sculpture. She painted her sculptures black, white, and gold so they would be structurally important and would have an air of mystery. Her favorite color to use was black because, "it is the essence of the universe."

Famous People She studied with

During the course of her eighty-eight years of life Louise Nevelson studied with three extraordinary but different people in three very different places. She first studied with Kenneth Hayes Miller in New York City. She then traveled to Germany to study with Hans Hofman. Finally, Louise traveled to Mexico to study with the great Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.

Famous Works of Art

  • Sky Cathedral / Southern Mountain
  • Mirror - Shadow XXIX
  • Sky Garden
  • Dawn Shadows
  • Night Wave: Moon
  • An American Tribute to the British People
  • Sungarden No. 1
  • Dawn's Wedding Chapel III with Two Columns
  • Tropical Garden II
  • Tropical Garden III
  • The Royal Tide V

Places where Art is Located

  • Museum of Modern Art in New York
  • Pace-Wildenstein Galleries in New York
  • Private Collections in Rome
  • The Tate Gallery in London
  • Collection of Mr. And Mrs. Charles M. Diker in New York City

Quotes by the Artist

  • "The freer that women become, the freer men will be. Because when you enslave someone, you are enslaved."
  • "I feel that my works are feminine and delicate: it may look strong but it is delicate. True strength is delicate. My whole life is in it, and my whole life is feminine."
  • She told a local librarian as a child, "I'm going to be a sculptor. I don't want color to help me (like an artist does)."
  • "When people say that I am a strong woman, it offends me no end because I don't want to be a strong woman. All I want is to reveal what I understand about the world to myself."
  • "…if you don't live up to your greatest potential, then you are cheating God. So who are you cheating? You are cheating the God within yourself. And I want a total being of myself. I feel rich enough in myself that I can pay that price. And that is why I work. And I hope as long as I'm here that is the way I will work."
  • "I will concede that I was dedicated and that art and creation was not art and creation but it was a place to live in, and breathe in."


Hamilton, George. 1970. 19th and 20th Century Art. New York: Harry Abrams Inc.

Hunter, Sam. 1923. American Art of the 20th Century. New York: Harry Abrams Inc.

The 20th Century Art Book. 1996. New York: Phaidon Press Lmt.

"Louise Nevelson." 9 Sept. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 10 Sept. 2000.

"Quotations from Louise Nevelson." 9 Sept. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 9 Sept. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 9 Sept. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 9 Sept. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." Listing From Electronic Library, a pay service. 7 Oct. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 7 Oct. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 7 Oct. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 7 Oct. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 7 Oct. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 7 Oct. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 7 Oct. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 7 Oct. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 6 Oct. 2000.

"Louise Nevelson." 5 Oct. 2000.


History and Thought of Western Man
Rich East High School *Park Forest, IL 60466

This webpage was created by S. Z., 3/6/01.

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