Louise Nevelson was born in Russia in 1899, but immigrated to the United States with her parents when she was only three years old. She learned english at school, as she spoke yiddish at home, and she later went on to attend the Art Students League of New York in the 1930's. It wasn't until 1941 that Nevelson had her first solo exhibition. She studied under Hans Hofmann and Chaim Gross, and created conceptual art using found objects, she also dabbled in painting and print making in her early years, before dedicating her lifework to sculpture. The sculptures that she created were mostly wood constructions of intensely intricate design, exemplified by the untitled work pictured to the left. Much of the sculpture work that she created was monochromatically painted with either black or white.
Aside from studying under Hofmann, Nevelson worked as Diego Riviera's assistant during the creation of his Rockefeller Plaza mural, "Man at the Crossroads". This job lead to a love affair between Louise and Diego that would ultimately cause a rift in his relationship with Frieda Kahlo, an artist that Nevelson greatly admired. The beginning of Nevelson's career in the 1940's was a period in which she experimented with cubist constructions and surrealist experimental sculpture using found objects as materials. Though this works was not very well recieved, it formed a strong foundation for the intensely exploratory nature of the works she would produce later in her life, ones that would play of the forms of sculpture and the limits of surrealist expression.
< Back to all artists