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Louise Nevelson

1899: Born in Russia

1905: Family moved to the USA/Rockland,
Maine where her father
established a lumber business and bought,
sold and built houses.
1920: Studied voice with Metropolitan Opera
1926: Studied dramatics
1931: Worked as an extra in films
1933: Studied modern dance
1934: Studied sculpture
1955-1983: Many solo and group shows
1962: Participated in Conference of World
Affairs, which included international leaders
in the fields of science, government, arts,
1967: FIRST Retrospective show at the
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.
1977: Best Dressed List.
1985: US Congress Award, National Medal
of Art presented by US President Ronald
1988: Died, New York
monumental installations,
innovative sculpture made of found wood objects,
and public art.
Nevelson selected
wooden objects that
call to mind the
forms of the city,
nature, and the
celestial bodies.

While the individual

pieces are small,
they became
monumental when
viewed holistically
within the combined
environment of the
Her innovative sculptural environments and success
within the male-dominated realm of the New York gallery
system inspired many younger artists, primarily those
involved in installation art and the Feminist art
Nevelson was
interested in the
sublime and spiritual

Sky Cathedral evokes

the sense of a shrine or
a place of devotion.

The artist wrote that, in

her art, she sought “the
in-between places, the
dawns and dusk, the
objective world, the
heavenly spheres, the
places between the
land and the sea.”
Sky Cathedral

Because of its overall

11′ 3 1/2″ x 10′ 1/4″ x

Sky Cathedral has

been called an

the spectator is invited

to feel ‘placed’ (or
trapped?) within it.”

Made of a variety of
architectural fragments
and bits of furniture,
gathered by Nevelson on
the streets of lower

She said, “Collage [has

the] ability to give any
object a second chance
at life. Their original
identity is beside the
point: it vanishes within
the sculpture’s new
identity as an elaborately
complicated whole,
mysteriously shadowed,
and beyond

Unlike traditional
sculpture, Nevelson’s
work is not carved or

It is “constructed” by
putting together, in this
case, some 50 wooden
milk crates, used as
stages to contain
compositions of
assembled objects.

She used boxes in a

geometric grid to give
“stability” to the
otherwise chaotic mix of

Many interpreted her

use of black as a tool
for evoking a mood.

Also helped define

the sculpture against
the space it inhabited
(the gallery)

AND emphasizes the

strength of the
individual parts.
Elements of Art?
Principles of Design?
ELEMENTS: Line, Shape/Form, Color, Value, Texture, Space

PRINCIPLES: Balance, Contrast, Dominance, Emphasis,

Movement, Rhythm, Repetition, Subordination, Variation, Unity
Project Requirements:
Variety of Materials
Medium to large scale
Free standing

Thoughtful use of Elements and Principles focusing on

Form, Space, Repetition, Variation, Unity