Louise Nevelson (b. 1899, Kiev; d. 1988, New York), a leading sculptor of the twentieth century, pioneered site-specific and installation art. She is recognized for her sculptures comprised of discarded furniture and other wood elements found in the area surrounding her studio. Composing these elements into nested, box-like structures, she would then paint them in monochromatic black, white, or gold—transforming disparate elements into a unified structure. She also experimented with bronze, terracotta, and Plexiglas, moving as well into collage, works on paper, and the realm of public art. With her compositions, Nevelson explored the relational possibilities of sculpture, summing up the objectification of the external world into a personal landscape. Although her practice is situated in lineage with Cubism and Constructivism, her sense of space and interest in the transcendence of the object reveal an affinity with Abstract Expressionism. Nevelson represented the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1962, and today her work is held in over ninety public collections worldwide.
New York—Pace Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of works by Louise Nevelson, marking the gallery’s twenty-seventh solo show for the artist since 1963. The exhibition brings together 20 of Nevelson’s iconic black and white painted wood sculptures, wall reliefs, and installations from the late 1950s through the late 1980s. Louise Nevelson: Black & White will be on view from February 1 through March 3, 2018 at 537 West 24th Street, with an opening reception on Thursday, February 1 from 6 – 8 pm. A full-color catalogue accompanies the exhibition.
A highlight of the exhibition is the monumental installation Dawn’s Presence – Three (1975–80), the artist’s only complete white environment held in private hands. A leading Abstract Expressionist who pioneered site-specific and installation art, Nevelson is renowned for majestic monochromatic works, which are comprised of wooden materials found in the area surrounding her studio. She transformed these castaways by unifying and coating them in a new, monochromatic paint surface. Dawn’s Presence – Three stands at over ten feet tall by over ten feet wide and encompasses ten interrelated elements. It will be presented in the company of additional white sculptures from the same body of work – Dawn’s Staff (1969–1975) and Dawn’s Landscape XXXII (1975).
An architect of light and shadow, Nevelson’s practice will be illuminated in Pace’s joint presentation of both black and white works together. The white sculptures metaphorically employ the light of dawn and expose all of their fragments by casting subtle shade, in stark contrast to Nevelson’s black sculptures, which absorb light and enfold their key elements in mystery. Among the black wall reliefs and standing wall sculptures featured in the exhibition, a particularly striking work will be the monumental installation Untitled (Sky Cathedral) (1964), encompassing 16 distinct elements and measuring nearly 11 feet tall and over 8 feet wide.
“It has been my privilege to work with Louise Nevelson and her estate over the last 55 years,” says Arne Glimcher, Pace Gallery Founder. “By joining the new Pace Gallery in 1963, Nevelson, who was already internationally renowned, established Pace as an important addition to the exciting New York gallery scene of the 60’s. We’re honored to continue to work closely with the estate today and present such incredible work to new audiences.”