LOUISE NEVELSON "FOLDED NUDE" DRAWING, 1930
Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) stands as one of the most important artists of the 20th century. She is renowned for her monochromatic sculptural wooden constructions.
However, it is important to emphasize that Nevelson toiled and experimented for nearly 30 years before arriving at her signature style in the late 1950s.
In recent years there has been an increase in scholarship, awareness, and collector interest in Nevelson's early work, as she was an early adopter of modernism in America. This drawing is a fine example from this era.
After Nevelson divorced in 1931, she was finally liberated to devote herself to art-making. She studied at the Art Students League in New York and made several influential trips to Europe where she began studying with Hans Hoffmann. Back in New York, she worked briefly for the Works Progress Administration, where she met Jackson Pollock, and Willem de Kooning and befriended other "downtown" New York artists.
While Nevelson had a long exhibition history, 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.
This unique and elegant line drawing reveals a distinct expression of modernism. The influence of both Matisse and Modigliani is evident. The reclining nude figure's lines are bold and stylized, almost sculptural.
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. In the spring of 2022, Christies set a new auction record selling a Nevelson work at $1.35 million.
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USA, c. 1930s
Pencil on paper
Signed by artist, lower right
15.5"H 12.34"W (work)
23.5"H 15.5"W (framed)
Very good condition
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