Definitions

Nevelson

Nevelson

[nev-uhl-suhn]
Nevelson, Louise, 1900-1988, American sculptor, b. Kiev, Russia. Using odd pieces of wood, found objects, cast metal and other materials, Nevelson constructed huge walls or enclosed box arrangements of complex and rhythmic abstract shapes. These are covered entirely with black, white, or gold paint. The uniform tone gives her work a mysterious quality and emphasizes the structural importance of its shadows. Huge works such as World (1966; Detroit Inst. of Art) reflect a sense of total environment. Examples of Nevelson's work are in the Whitney Museum and Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

See study by J. Gordon (1967).

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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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.

Learn more about Nevelson, Louise with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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