Louise Nevelson  (American, 1899-1988) 

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899–1988) was a Ukrainian-born sculptor and printmaker, who grew up in Rockland, Maine, after arriving in the United States at a young age. In 1920, Nevelson moved with her husband to New York, where she worked as a performing artist and studied sculpture at the Art Students League. She separated from her husband in 1931 and traveled to Europe to study, but returned to America as the political situation in Germany worsened. Like many other artists in the 1930s, she was employed by the Works Progress Administration, first assisting Diego Rivera (Mexican, 1886–1957) on his mural Portrait of America and later teaching at the Educational Alliance School of Art. In 1941, Nevelson was awarded her first one-woman show at the Nierendorf Gallery, New York; the following year, she began to create assemblages using found objects, leading to the style of her mature sculptures. Her large-scale environment Moon Garden Plus One was on display during her 1958 show at the Grand Central Moderns Gallery and brought her wide-spread recognition. In the late 1950s and 1960s, she created monochromatic assemblages and environments influenced by Abstract Expressionism from wood, terracotta, and clear perspex. Her later sculptures, which were often intended for outdoor environments, took a more geometric form and utilized industrial materials, such as Cor-Ten steel, which allowed for structural innovations beyond the capability of regular steel. In the last decade of her life, Nevelson received numerous awards, including the Guggenheim Museum’s Great Artist Series Award in 1986.

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Louise Nevelson, Plant


Louise Nevelson

F.L. Braswell Fine Art
Louise Nevelson, Untitled


Louise Nevelson

Amy Simon Fine Art
Louise Nevelson, Untitled (2)


Louise Nevelson
Untitled (2)

Amy Simon Fine Art
Louise Nevelson, Vietnam


Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson, The Drum


Louise Nevelson
The Drum

Louise Nevelson, Essence Series (5) B.A.T.


Louise Nevelson
Essence Series (5) B.A.T.

Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
Louise Nevelson, Untitled


Louise Nevelson

Timothy Yarger Fine Art
Louise Nevelson, Sun-Set


Louise Nevelson

Kenneth A. Friedman & Co.
Louise Nevelson, Essence Series (9) B.A.T.


Louise Nevelson
Essence Series (9) B.A.T.

Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
Past auction results (1699)  View All
Louise Nevelson, Presenza Grafica - Silver


Louise Nevelson
Presenza Grafica - Silver, 1973
etching and aquatint w/ metallic foil


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Louise Nevelson, Senza Titolo - Red


Louise Nevelson
Senza Titolo - Red, 1975
color etching and aquatint


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Louise Nevelson, Senza tiolo - Copper


Louise Nevelson
Senza tiolo - Copper, 1973
color etching and aquatint w/ metallic foil


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1899   Born: Kiev, Russia
1905   Moved to the U.S and settled in Rockland, Maine
1929 - 1930   Studied visual and performing arts, including dramatics at the Art Students League
1931   Attended Hans Hofmann’s school in Munich, Germany
1932   Returned to New York and assisted Diego Rivera on murals for the WPA Federal Art Project
1937   Joined the WPA as a teacher for the Educational Alliance School of Art
1947   Studied etching with Stanley William Hayter at his Atelier 17 in New York
1949 - 1950   Worked in marble and terra-cotta and executed her totemic Game Figures
1957 - 1959   Became a president of the Artist’s Equity New York chapter
1959   Received a grand Prize for work in the Art USA exhibition at the New York Coliseum
1966   Became vice-president of the International Association of Artists
Received Honorary Degree from Western College for Women in Oxford, OH
1969   Received a MacDowell Colony Medal in Peterborough, NH
1973   Received a honorary degree from Smith College in Northampton, MA and Columbia University in New York, NY
1985   Received a National Medal of Arts from President Ronald Reagan
1988   Died: New York, NY
2000   Was the subject of a set of Louise Nevelson commemorative stamps issued by the U.S Postal Service
2013   Midnight Party - Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Louise Nevelson: Black - Davis Museum at Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA
2012   Louise Nevelson - Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Selections From The Estate: 1954-1987 - Timothy Yarger Fine Art, Beverly Hills, CA
2011   Louise Nevelson - Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GA
Rediscoveries 1 - Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME
Louise Nevelson: Collages - Pace Prints, New York City, NY
Louise Nevelson 1899 – 1988 - The Architect of Shadow - Artiscope, Brussels
2010   Louise Nevelson, Galerie Thomas, Munich, Germany(solo)
Advancing Abstraction in Modern Sculpture, Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, VA
Louise Nevelson, Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME
2009   Louise Nevelson: Dawns and Dusks, Louise Blouin Foundation, London, U.K (solo)
Louise Nevelson: Dawns and Dusks, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY
Louise Nevelson: Collages, Galleria Il Ponte, Florence, Italy(solo)
The Pull of Experiment: Postwar American Printmaking, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT
2008   Jesuvian Process, Elizabeth Dee Gallery, New York, NY
Doppio Songo Dell' Arte (Art's Double Dream), Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis, IN
2007   De-Natured: Works from the Anderson Collection, San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA
Light Time and Three Dimensions, The Pace Gallery, New York, NY
The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson, The Jewish Museum, New York ; travelled to: de Young Museum, San Francisco, CA(solo)
2007   The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson, The Jewish Museum, New York ; travelled to: de Young Museum, San Francisco
2006   Louise Nevelson: Small Works, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, PA(solo)
Louise Nevelson: The Architecture of the Light, Nohra Haime Gallery, New York, NY(solo)
2005   Louise Nevelson: Ceramics and Sculpture, Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, CA(solo)
Collecting for the Cause: Activist Art in the 1960s and '70s, Smart Museum of Art, Chicago, IL
Continuum : 130th Anniversary of the Art Students League of New York, ACA Galleries, New York, NY
2004   Picasso to Pop: A Growing Contemporary Collection, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix, AZ
Louise Nevelson, Hackett Freedman Gallery, San Francisco, CA(solo)
2003   Louise Nevelson: Selections from the Farnsworth Art Museum, Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, NY
Going Modern at the Allen: American Painting and Sculpture 1950-1980, The Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin, OH
Imagine - Selections from the permanent collection, Museum of Contemporary Art - North Miami, Miami, FL
2002   True Grit: Seven Female Visionaries Before Feminism, Boise Art Museum, Boise, ID
Louise Nevelson: Structures Evolving, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, Gainesville, FL
2001   Louise Nevelson, Galerie Marwan Hoss, Paris, France(solo)
Points of Departure II: Connecting with Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
1999   Drawings, Greenfield Sacks Gallery, Santa Monica, CA
Louise Nevelson, Sculpture and Collages, Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, CO
1998   Louise Nevelson: Sculpture and Drawings from the 1940s, Washburn Gallery, New York City, NY(solo)
The 60s in the Seventies, Ubu Gallery, New York, NY
1997   Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
Assemblage: More Than Meets The Eye, Choate House Gallery, Pace University Pleasantville, Pleasantville, NY
1994   Louise Nevelson, Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, Italy(solo)
The Box: From Duchamp to Horn, Ubu Gallery, New York, NY
1991   10 Sculptors of the New York School, Manny Silverman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1986   Louise Nevelson, Michel Soskine Inc., New York, NY(solo)
1983   Nuclear Weapons Freeze Benefit Exhibition, Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
1967   Louise Nevelson,The Rose Art Museum, Waltham, MA(solo)
Sculpture: A Generation of Innovation, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
  The Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Ridgefield,CT
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX
Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME
Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, Japan
The Jewish Museum, New York, NY
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Musée de Peinture et de Sculpture, Grenoble, France
Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, Netherlands
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL
The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY
Tate Gallery, London, U.K
Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven,CT
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
2009    The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson: Constructing a Legend(edited by Brooke Kamin Rapaport). Yale University Press: New Haven
1990    Lisie, Laurie. Louise Nevelson: A Passionate Life. Simon & Schuster/ Summit Books: New York, 1990
1981    Wilson, Laurie. Louise Nevelson: Iconography and Sources. New York: Garland, 1981
1976    Nevelson, Louise. Dawns + Dusks: Louise Nevelson (taped conversations with Diana MacKown). New York: Scribner, 1976
1972    Glimcher, Arnold B. Louise Nevelson. New York: Praeger, 1972