Sky Cathedral: Night Wall

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899 - 1988)

1963-76. Oil on canvas, 114 x 171". 1977.020

Louise Nevelson is internationally known primarily for her “sculptured walls.” These wooden, wall-like reliefs are composed of numerous boxes and compartments that hold abstract shapes and ordinary objects—chair legs, sections of balustrade, and other found objects. Noting that “black encompasses all colors . . . it contains the whole thing,” Nevelson painted her constructions a uniform black, until 1959, after which she sometimes painted them white or gold. From left to right, the sculpture is a chronology of her artistic development over a thirteen-year period in her studio in New York City. Nevelson said of this series, “This is the Universe, the stars, the moon—and you and I, everyone.”

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