Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Louise Nevelson @ Pace Gallery

Untitled (Sky Cathedral), 1964
more than 8 feet high, almost 11 feet wide 

As so often happens when traveling, it's the events that you stumble upon that make the biggest impression.

While walking through the Chelsea neighbourhood in New York, I noticed a banner for Black & White, a show opening that evening at Pace Gallery. As I've always loved the work of Louise Nevelson, I made a special effort to return to the area two days later to see the show, which was swarming with visitors.

Dawn's Presence - Three, (1975 - 1980)
Over ten feet tall, and over ten feet wide, it is
the artist's only complete white environment held in private hands.

"Louise Nevelson (b. 1899, Kiev; d. 1988, New York), a leading sculptor of the 20th century, pioneered site-specific and installation art. She is recognized for her sculptures comprised of discarded furniture and other wood elements found in the area surrounding her studio. Composing these elements into nested, box-like structures, she would then paint them in monochromatic black, white or gold – transforming disparate elements into a unified structure. She also experimented with bronze, terracotta, and Plexiglas, moving as well into collage, works on paper, and the realm of public art. With her compositions, Nevelson explored the relational possibilities of sculpture, summing up the objectification of the external world into a personal landscape. Although her practice is situated in lineage with Cubism ad Constructivism, her sense of space and interest in the transcendence of the object reveal an affinity with Abstract Expressionism. Nevelson represented the United States at the Venice biennale in 1962, and today her work is held in over ninety public collections worldwide."

Many of the black sculptures were grouped in a room with black walls, illuminated by blue light. requiring the viewer's eye to adjust to the minimal light conditions. This is how Nevelson preferred her black-painted works to be shown.

The exhibit continues until March 3, 2018.

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