Louise Nevelson


Louise Nevelson (1899-1988, Russia) is an important figure in 20th-century American art for her experimentation with monochromatic assemblage sculptures. The artist’s practice was rooted in Abstract Expressionism, Cubism and Constructivism, but her work in sculpture, collage, paint and print defined her own visual language. The artist’s work often balanced subtle shifts in color and texture with bold forms and scale.


Nevelson was born in Russia (present-day Ukraine), but her family emigrated to Maine a few years after her birth during the political revolution. The artist studied at the Art Students League of New York in the 1930s. Like many other artists of this time, she was employed by the Works Progress Administration, first assisting Diego Rivera on his mural Portrait of America, and 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 (New York). She was included in the 1962 Venice Biennale and her first major museum retrospective took place in 1967 at the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York). Today, her works are held in the collections of the Tate (London), Museum of Modern Art (New York), Art Institute of Chicago and Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), among numerous other large public and private collections.