Larger Type
Smaller Type

Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Sculpture: 20th century: Night Leaf
Night Leaf

Night Leaf
Louise Nevelson
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

“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

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.

« Back to Results