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Night Leaf

1969 Louise Nevelson Born: Kiev, Russia 1899 Died: New York, New York 1988 plexiglas 12 3/4 x 12 3/4 x 2 1/4 in. (32.3 x 32.3 x 5.6 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of the Woodward Foundation 1976.108.90 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 49B

Luce Center Quote

“Sometimes it’s the material that takes over; sometimes it’s me that takes over. I permit them to play, like a seesaw. I use action and counteraction, like in music, all the time . . .” Louise Nevelson, “American Artists on Art,” 1982

Luce Center Label

In the late 1960s, Louise Nevelson experimented with new techniques and materials, developing work in Plexiglas and Cor-Ten steel. Night Leaf displays an arrangement of opaque black boxes that contain variations of a simple leaf shape. Nevelson emphasized the contrast between nature and technology by using industrial techniques to illustrate an organic form. The rigid plastic transforms the leaf into a geometric and uniform shape, highlighted by the use of black.




plastic - plexiglas