Nevelson, Louise


Nevelson, Louise
orig. Leah Berliavsky

born Sept. 23?, 1899/1900, Kiev, Russia
died April 17, 1988, New York, N.Y., U.S.

Ukrainian-born U.S. sculptor.

Born in Kiev, she moved with her family to Maine in 1905. She studied at New York's Art Students League and with Hans Hofmann in Munich (1931). Her early figurative sculptures feature blockish, interlocking masses and found objects that anticipate her mature style. By the 1950s she was working almost exclusively in abstract forms. She is best known for the large, monochromatic abstract sculptures of this period, consisting of open-faced wooden boxes stacked to make freestanding walls. Within the boxes are highly suggestive collections of abstract-shaped objects mingled with pieces of architectural debris and other found objects skillfully arranged to produce a sense of mystery and then painted a single colour, usually black. She is recognized as one of the foremost sculptors of the 20th century.

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▪ American sculptor
née  Berliawsky 
born September 23?, 1899/1900, Kiev
died April 17, 1988, New York City
 American sculptor known for her large, monochromatic abstract sculptures and environments in wood and other materials.

      In 1905 she moved with her family from the Ukraine to Rockland, Me. She married businessman Charles Nevelson in 1920 and later left her husband and child to pursue her artistic ambitions. In 1929 she began studying with Kenneth Hayes Miller at the Art Students League in New York City, and in 1931 she studied with Hans Hofmann in Munich.

      Nevelson's first individual exhibition was held in New York City in 1941. Her early figurative sculptures in wood, terra-cotta, bronze, and plaster (e.g., “Ancient Figure,” 1932) show a preoccupation with blockish, interlocking masses that recall the sculpture of Central America (where she traveled in the 1940s) and anticipate her mature style. It was also in the figurative work that her characteristic found objects (objets trouvés) first appeared, here as stylized features and appendages (e.g., “The Circus Clown,” 1942).

      After enduring years of poverty and critical neglect, Nevelson by the 1950s had both developed her mature sculptural style and begun to earn significant critical recognition. By this time she was working almost exclusively with abstract forms. She is best-known for works dating from this period; these consist of open-faced wooden boxes that are stacked to make freestanding walls. Within the boxes are displayed carefully arranged and highly suggestive collections of abstract-shaped objects mingled with chair legs, pieces of balustrades, and other found objects and pieces of bric-a-brac. The boxes and their contents are painted a single colour, usually black, though she coloured sculptures in white or gold as well. These accumulations of architectural debris and vaguely recognizable objects elicit a sense of mystery and antiquity while also achieving infinitely varied formal tensions between the objects so displayed, thanks to her skill at arranging them. Many of these pieces bear mystical titles (e.g., “Sky Cathedral,” 1958; “Silent Music II,” 1964; “Sky Gate—New York,” one of her largest wall sculptures, World Trade Center, New York City, 1978).

      Major museums began purchasing Nevelson's wall sculptures in the late 1950s, and in the following decades she won recognition as one of the foremost sculptors of the second half of the 20th century. In 1967 the first major retrospective of her work was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. During the 1970s and '80s Nevelson expanded the variety of materials used in her sculptures, incorporating objects made of aluminum, Plexiglas, and Lucite.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • NEVELSON, LOUISE — (1900–1988), U.S. sculptor and print maker. Arriving in the United States in 1905, Nevelson grew up in Rockland, Maine. Her father owned a lumberyard, an important influence on her mature sculpture when Nevelson adopted wood as her most… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Nevelson,Louise — Nev·el·son (nĕvʹəl sən), Louise. 1899 1988. Russian born American sculptor whose massive works, often of wood, cast metal, and found objects, are characterized by complex and rhythmic abstract shapes. * * * …   Universalium

  • Nevelson, Louise — pseud. di Berliowsky, Louise …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • Nevelson, Louise — (1899 1998)    American sculptor. She was born in Kiev, and emigrated to the US in 1905. Her work includes Six Million, composed in memory of the victims of the Holocaust …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Nevelson, Louise — ► (1900 88) Escultora de origen ruso. Desarrolló un lenguaje abstracto utilizando materiales de deshecho. Autora de Banquete de bodas del Alba. * * * orig. Leah Berliavsky (¿23? sep. 1899/1900, Kíev, Rusia–17 abr. 1988, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Nevelson — Nevelson, Louise …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Louise Nevelson — Louise mit Enkelin Neith Nevelson, 1965 Louise Nevelson (* 23. September 1899 in Kiew, Ukraine; † 17. April 1988 in New York; geboren als Leah Berliawsky) war eine US amerikanische Bildhauerin u …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Louise Berliawsky Nevelson — (eigentlich Leah Berliawsky, * 23. September 1899 in Kiew, Ukraine; † 17. April 1988 in New York) war eine US amerikanische Bildhauerin und Malerin. Ihre …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • NEVELSON (L.) — NEVELSON LOUISE (1900 1988) Avec Alexandre Calder et David Smith, Louise Nevelson est considérée comme l’une des instigatrices majeures de la sculpture moderne aux États Unis. Partant des données du cubisme et de celles des ready made de Marcel… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Louise Nevelson — Louise et Neith Nevelson en 1966 Louise Nevelson (née Leah Berliawsky, le 23 septembre 1899, à Kiev 17 avril 1988, New York) est une sculptrice américaine d origine ukrainienne. Elle était mariée à Charles Nevelson, et avait un fil …   Wikipédia en Français


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