Louise Nevelson


One of the most important figures in 20th-century American art, Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) was an artist best known for her monochromatic wooden assemblages. Born to a Jewish family in Russia, her family emigrated to Maine a few years after her birth during the political revolution. The artist grew up playing in her father’s lumber yard, a long-time creative inspiration for her sculptures. Nevelson moved to New York in 1920 and enrolled in the Art Students League in 1929.

Like many other artists in the 1930s, she was employed by the Works Progress Administration, first assisting Diego Rivera on his mural Portrait of Americaand later teaching at the Educational Alliance School of Art. In 1959, Nevelson participated in her first important museum exhibition, Sixteen Americans,” at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the Martha Jackson Gallery gave her a solo show. She was included in the Venice Biennale in 1962. Her first major museum retrospective took place in 1967 at the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Today, her works are held in the collections of the Tate Gallery in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among numerous other large public and private collections.