World Garden Cabinet

  • Louise Nevelson, World Garden Cabinet, 1959, painted wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection, 1980.137.83

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.

Luce Object 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
Title
World Garden Cabinet
Artist
Date
1959
On View
Dimensions
57 x 11 1/2 x 10 1/2 in. (144.8 x 29.2 x 26.8 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. David K. Anderson, Martha Jackson Memorial Collection

Mediums
Mediums Description
painted wood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract
Object Number
1980.137.83
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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