Boxes of Dreams (Louise Nevelson)
Materials Sandblasted glass, cast glass, bronze, wood
Ms. Nevelson was a force of nature. A Jewish Russian immigrant, she came to the US in 1905 as a young child. Her father, Isaac was a woodworker and it is thought that this influence played an important role in her predominent choice of material. She got married young and it wasn’t until years after her divorce that she began to study art in earnest. She attended the Art students league and was a student of Hans Hoffman and Chiam Gross.
She exhibited regularly beginning in the 1940’s, however as a female sculptor, things were not easy, and it wasn’t until she was 57 years old and joined the Martha Jackson Gallery that she became financially independent.
Fashion conscious, Nevelson had a love of unique and original clothing, so her outfits and headscarves made her a formidable visual presence.
From the early 1970’s to the mid 1980’s I saw her on a regular basis in the streets of SOHO in New York where we were neighbors. I must say I was always too intimidated to speak to her.
“Boxes of Dreams” goes to the heart of the personality and force of this “grand dame” of sculpture. My piece shows her as part of the stacked boxes of assembled found shapes, which she acquired from the scraps of wood shops and then built into monumental walls of controlled power and elegance. These large-scale walls were then almost exclusively painted in in black or white.
I made this piece for many reasons, first and foremost out of a deep respect for the work she created. In addition, we have a shared cultural heritage and our fathers were both woodworkers.