Happy New Year Cafe visitors! Sorry to be a little late but only realized last night that the first Wednesday was 2 Jan. In that vein, I decided to re-visit one of my favorite artist. I have long admired Louise Nevelson’s work…..and more than once wondered if I could re-recreate this style in my art quilts.
There is both a hard edge and soft organic shapes in her work that appeals to me. Her work is truly timeless…but enough of my admiration….let’s take a look at Louise and her work.
Nevelson is known for her abstract expressionist “boxes” grouped together to form a new creation. She used found objects or everyday discarded things in her “assemblages” or assemblies, one of which was three stories high: ”When you put together things that other people have thrown out, you’re really bringing them to life – a spiritual life that surpasses the life for which they were originally created.”
Born In1899 in the Ukraine, Nevelson came to the US in 1905. Her father was a timber merchant and reports suggest that Louise, then known as Leah, played with timber as a young girl….deciding to be a sculptor at age ten. A girl who knew her destiny while many of us were still trying to master playground politics.
Night Zag III 1971
In 1931 and 1932, she studies with Hans Hofmann becoming deeply influenced by surrealism and collage. The next 15 years brought an incredible period of productive as she developed her collage work made of wood scraps. Both sophisticated and haunting, this work cemented her place as one of America’s foremost sculptors.
Night Leaf 1969
My admiration for her work is heightened her incredible public persona. Always dressed to the nines, occasionally bordering on costume, and her trademark false eyelashes long before Tammy Faye Baker, she remained dedicated to her craft. Producing an amazing body of work, her influence on artist today is still evident.
All of her children became artist, carrying on a commitment to a life of creating. I would like to think Louise is looking down as a gentle critic and at the same time a taskmaster of get to the work.
This last work is one of my personal favorites. For me it is indicative of a woman truly of her time and ours….a legacy worth honoring.