Skip to Main Content
March 18, 2022

Acquisition: Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson, 'Untitle'

Louise Nevelson
, c. 1975
wood painted black
left panel: 111.76 x 111.76 x 10.16 cm (44 x 44 x 4 in.)
right panel: 111.76 x 111.76 x 13.97 cm (44 x 44 x 5 1/2 in.)
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Gift of Milly and Arne Glimcher

Sculptor Louise Nevelson (1899–1988), is known for her monumental wooden wall pieces and outdoor sculptures. The National Gallery of Art has recently been given Untitled (c. 1975), the first major relief by Nevelson to enter the collection, from Arne and Milly Glimcher, dedicated supporters of the artist.

A late work, Untitled resembles Nevelson’s classic, earlier work in that it consists largely of found pieces of black-painted wood that fit tightly within boxlike containers. Here, Nevelson incorporated large forms and open rhythms that contrast deliberately with the packed, labyrinthine quality visible in much of her other work. Her unique process transformed everyday materials into compositions that transcended space and altered the viewer’s perception. Dramatic rooms of monochromatic works placed on the floor and walls, and occasionally suspended from the ceiling, allowed the viewer to journey through Nevelson’s created worlds.

Born in Pereiaslav, in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine), Nevelson came to the United States in 1905 as part of a wave of Jewish emigration, settling with her family first in Maine, then moving to New York City in 1920, where she studied drama and art. By 1960, Nevelson had established herself firmly within the male-dominated circle of her abstract expressionist peers, and by 1970 she had become an iconic figure known for her sprawling environments and outdoor sculptures as well as her dramatic self-presentation. She received numerous recognitions and awards throughout her lifetime, as well as two significant commissions—the "Louise Nevelson Plaza" in Lower Manhattan and the "Nevelson Chapel" of the Good Shepherd at St. Peter’s Church in Midtown Manhattan.

Contact Information

General Information
For additional press information please call or send inquiries to:
Department of Communications
National Gallery of Art
2000 South Club Drive
Landover, MD 20785
phone: (202) 842-6353
e-mail: [email protected]

Chief of Communications
Anabeth Guthrie
phone: (202) 842-6804
e-mail: [email protected]

The National Gallery also offers a broad range of newsletters for various interests. Follow this link to view the complete list.

Related Resources