LOUISE NEVELSON "MALE NUDE" DRAWING, 1932
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 pursuit of Nevelson's early work. Nevelson has been positioned an important and 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, Willem de Kooning and befriended other "downtown" New York artists. Most significantly she worked as an artist assistant to Diego Rivera.
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 nude male 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.
Signed in ink by the artist in lower right corner
Pencil and ink on paper
9.75"H 8"W (Work)
17.5"H 15"W (Framed)
Very good condition
Provenance: Washburn Gallery, New York
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