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World Garden Cabinet

1959 Louise Nevelson Born: Kiev, Russia 1899 Died: New York, New York 1988 painted wood 57 x 11 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (144.8 x 29.2 x 26.8 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection 1980.137.83 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 49B


Luce Center Quote

"I began to see things, almost anything on the street, as art . . . that's why I pick up old wood that had a life, that cars have gone over and the nails have been crushed . . . All [my] objects are retranslated—that's the magic." Louise Nevelson, The Washington Post, April 1988

Luce Center Label

Louise Nevelson began making assemblages from cast-off wooden debris during the 1940s, stacking objects and boxes to create imposing walls and installations. She often painted her assemblages black, claiming that black was the "most aristocratic of all" because it contained all other colors and could never be the same twice. In World Garden Cabinet, Nevelson filled a wooden cabinet with pieces of wood, all painted black. She left some nails exposed, which emphasizes the modesty of her materials.

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sculpture

wood

About Louise Nevelson

Born: Kiev, Russia 1899 Died: New York, New York 1988

More works in the collection by
Louise Nevelson