Louise Nevelson


Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) stands as one of the most important (American) artists of the 20th century.

She is best known for her monochromatic sculptural wooden constructions. However Nevelson worked and experimented for nearly 30 years before arriving at her signature style in the 1960s.

As always, Caviar20 is thrilled to present an esteemed work by Louise Nevelson. This drawing is from early in Nevelson’s career. After her divorce in 1931, Nevelson  was finally liberated to devote herself to art-making. She studied at the Art Students League in New York and worked briefly for the Works Progress Administration, where she met Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and befriended other "downtown" New York artists.

Nevelson had a long exhibition history, but it was only in the 1950s that she got a foothold in significant galleries. For most of Nevelson's adult life, selling art was a struggle. Her original price tag on this works reveals that it was $34...however it was never sold.  In fact it was gifted to her sister Anita Berliawsky, an essential supporter of Nevelson throughout her life. 

This unique and elegant line drawing reveals a distinct expression of modernism. The influence of both Picasso and Matisse is evident. The two figures' shapes are bold and present, almost sculptural. Many of Nevelson's creations in the 1930s and '40s demonstrate an ambivalence towards figuration. It is only in the 1950s that her work begins to assert itself as pure abstraction. 

Increasing scholarly and market attention has been placed on Nevelson's early work. For example in 2018 the Whitney Museum presented "The Face and the Moon" which explored Nevelson's prints and drawings from the first three decades of her career. 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

Signed, in addition to artist tag verso

Ink on paper

USA, 1932

12.5‚ÄĚH 8.5‚ÄĚW (work)

20.5"H 16"W (framed)

Framed with museum glass

Very good condition

Detailed condition report by request

Provenance:  Collection of Anita Berliawsky, the artist's sister. Thence by descent, Private Collection 

Note: work includes the original 1930's wood frame

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