Louise Nevelson is frequently cited as the greatest living American sculptor. Her powerful constructions – particularly her enormous walls and rooms – rank high among the monumental art of her twentieth century. Based solidly on Cubism, with overtones of Dada and Surrealism, Nevelson’s sculpture is a unique and essential expression of modern, and particularly urban, life.
Born in Kiev, Russia, in 1899, Nevelson was brought to the United States as a child and grew up in Rockland, Maine, where she studied dance and music as well as art. After an unsatisfactory marriage, Nevelson devoted herself exclusively to art, studying with Hans Hofman in Germany and working with Diego Rivera in New York, where she has lived for over fifty years. For decades Nevelson suffered under the handicap of being an original, independent artist working in a field dominated by men. Long an enthusiastic supporter of women’s liberation movements, Nevelson says: “My whole life is in my work and my whole life is a feminine.” She died in 1988.