LOUISE NEVELSON "RECLINING 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 1950's.
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, 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.
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USA, circa 1930s
Signed in ink by the artist in lower right corner
Pen and ink on paper
Very good condition
Provenance: This drawing is from the private collection of Louise Nevelson's friend Albert Argentieri. Nevelson and Argentieri lived near each other and Argentieri, a photographer and artist, would photograph Nevelson and her sculptures. He also searched nearby abandoned buildings for wooden pieces she could use in her sculptures.
Note: this work is framed. Additional images coming soon
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