Date: September 9, 2017 – January 14, 2018
Venue: Moderna Museet Stockholm
Throughout her long artistic practice, Louise Nevelson (1899–1988) explored the potential of the collage. Influenced by cubism and Jean Arp, she began early in her career to make sculptures and assemblages out of wood objects she found in the street and painted black. In the 1950s, the sculptures left their plinths and filled entire walls in a scale approaching abstract expressionist paintings. At the same time Nevelson was discovering another style in the collage, which enabled her to easily and intuitively explore subjects in smaller formats. Slips of paper, newspaper cuttings and sooty scraps of wood were combined into poetic observations of the overlooked objects, not unlike Kurt Schwitters’ Merz works.
Louise Nevelson’s monumental works evoke something spiritual and eternal, and express a deeply personal mythology. Her public breakthrough came at the age of 60 with the participation in the exhibition Sixteen Americans at the Museum of Modern Art in New York 1959. For the exhibition she created the white installation Dawn’s Wedding Feast, which included the sculpture Dawn’s Host, an allegory on a cosmic marriage with the world, or the artist’s union with her art. Dawn’s Wedding Feast overturned the notion of sculpture as an object to walk around; instead, it was an environment that enveloped the viewer. The work can be seen as a precursor to installation art. The Louise Nevelson exhibition is organised in recognition of a major donation of the artist’s rarely-shown collages to Moderna Museet.