Louise Nevelson - New Now New York Tuesday, September 24, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The Pace Gallery, New York
    The Estate of Carol Bombeck
    Private Collection, Chicago
    Thence by descent to the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, The Pace Gallery, Louise Nevelson: Nevelson at 85, February 23 - March 23, 1985

  • Catalogue Essay

    “My work is delicate; it may look strong, but it is delicate. True strength is delicate. My whole life is in it, and my whole life is feminine, and I work from an entirely different point of view”

    Louise Nevelson dreamt of building her own empire, glamorously imposing in its presence. Her unwavering confidence of this pursuit resulted in exuberant sculptures symbolic of her personality - bold and dramatic in presence, yet delicate and feminine in theme. Coated in the artist’s preferred color, a rich black pigment, Frozen Laces-Two, 1976-1980 and Mirror-Shadow I, 1985 strikingly embody the themes of architectural fragmentation that define Nevelson’s oeuvre. Cloaked in her trademark hue, the works’ intricate details meld beautifully into grand installations; sharply opposing elements of delicate details and arresting strength are harmoniously interlocked within these works’ smooth solidified pigment to present something elegantly extravagant.

    Frozen Laces-Two is composed of several slim metal elements that, in their totality, project an immediate vitality. Permitting her work to speak for itself, Nevelson proclaimed “I want to be a sculptor, I don’t want color to help me” (Louise Nevelson, quoted in Louise Nevelson: Black and White, exh. cat., Pace Gallery, New York, 2018, p. 4). The fervor in her relinquishment of color is expertly evoked through the authority asserted by this tower as it stands confidently erect. However, once discerning the careful lattice work, one experiences the subtle uniqueness of its intricate curves and arches at every angle. Made salient by the uniform color, the piece communicates a more complex narrative.

    Uniquely appreciative of art in urban spaces and everyday objects, Nevelson compiled found fragments of moldings, dowels, chair parts and architectural ornamentation in Mirror-Shadow I. When pieced together as a puzzle of wooden components, there is a beautiful intricacy of each element’s inconsistencies that would expectedly create diverse shapes and shadows. Defying this assumption, Nevelson again encapsulates the fragmented assemblage in a monochromatic black that morphs the tangle of objects into a robust, unified object.

Property From An Important Chicago Collection


Mirror-Shadow I

painted wood
59 x 119 x 19 in. (149.9 x 302.3 x 48.3 cm.)
Executed in 1985.

$100,000 - 150,000 

Sold for $100,000

Contact Specialist
Sam Mansour
Associate Specialist, Head of New Now Sale
New York
+1 212 940 1219

New Now

New York Auction 24 September 2019