Art AV Club: Louise Nevelson

In this Art AV Club we look at the words and works of Louise Nevelson and how her work encourages me to look for the sculptural in what I do.

Art AV Club came about when I fell down a YouTube rabbit hole watching videos about Cy Twombly. Videos of artists talking about their work or art historians talking about artists’ work is a magical thing that we are so lucky to have access to FOR FREE on the internet. I particularly like to examine artists whose work moves me and how my work intersects with theirs. Join me for this week’s Art AV Club: Louise Nevelson.

New York is my mirror

I think I’d seen Louise Nevelson’s work in museums half a dozen times before I figured out who she was. Her painted, all-black assemblages are weighty and more than a little disturbing. It wasn’t until I saw this short clip below during my mentorship that I started paying attention to what she was doing and it was really all about this quote that comes near the end of the clip:

It’s the work and I. Not the public and I.

Louise Nevelson

Ok, Ms Louise, make yourself at home in my brain with that statement. I deeply resonate with the idea that I need to focus on the relationship between me and my work and let the public sort itself out. I understand I don’t have the kind of public that she had as an established artist but I don’t need to worry about what that relationship might look like for me either to keep doing my work.

CBS Sunday Morning

This is a bit of a longer cut but OMG did CBS Sunday Morning showcase artists. What a gift to get to see this sort of profile. I was particularly interested in the World Trade Center art. I had never thought about the art that was lost in that act of terrorism, only the loss of life and destruction on the larger scale. So the thought of the lost art work hits me in a different set of feels.

After watching this video the Nevelson Chapel is now on my bucket list when I go back to NYC. From it’s website it’s recently been restored and that delights me.

In three dimensions

After looking at Nevelson’s work I’ve been wondering what my work would look like with one color. I am so used to telling my story in 14 different colors per piece, I can’t imagine paring it down to even just 3-4. The idea of just black makes me pause. Maybe it’s because her work is so sculptural that it naturally lends itself to being all one color whereas I can’t tell the stories I tell with just one color.

I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about it. And I’ve come to maybe it’s not about the color but the dimensionality of her work that I connect with. I’ve been moving in a more sculptural direction and I think that’s what I’m keying on now. The all-black sculptures that I used to think were so intimidating feel like an invitation for exploration now.

Go exploring on your own

I hope you enjoyed this Art AV Club. If you want to see more of her work you can check out her foundation website or her instagram. My favorite thing I spotted on the foundation website was this song called Louise’s Church.

Do you have an artist you are interested in? Want me to cover someone in particular? Send me an email or tag me on socials so I can put the person on my list!