Looking at pictures of Louise Nevelson, it’s clear that she was a charismatic and vibrant presence. She wore immense furs and mink eyelashes, and her wardrobe was an imaginative mix of textured and patterned ethnic dress combined with elaborately crafted jewelry. The multilayered and monumental wood assemblages she sculpted were as bold and original as their creator.
In 2000, the Postal Service issued a pane of five stamps to honor Louise Nevelson’s contribution to fine art. Art director Ethel Kessler showcased works that reveal the complexity of design in Nevelson’s sculptures. They are monochromatic—often painted black, white, or gold—cabinets of wonder, containing arrays of curious found objects. With resolute deliberation, Nevelson selected and edited elements of various shapes and sizes to create towering harmonious compositions. Her vision elevated otherwise banal detritus to the level of fine art.
Her works are magisterial, and mystical; imposing in stature, but also intensely intimate. They are what I imagine Ms. Nevelson to have been.