Night Wave: Moon
Louise Nevelson, (1900-1986, American)
Black painted wood construction (12' x 35' x 20"), 1984
Gift of Mrs. George W. Norton
The profusion of imponderable trophies that makes up Louise Nevelson’s wall-sized environments was assembled in a purely intuitive linkage. Different levels of clarity, density and blankness, like different levels of depth within the sculptures, provide the visual equivalent of poetic rhythm and metaphor.
In Night Wave: Moon the color black, which Nevelson called “the essence of the universe,” unifies the scrap components of her art. Mayan and Aztec hieroglyphs and architecture were particular influences on Nevelson’s art, and like her contemporaries, the American abstract expressionist painters, Nevelson used repetition to suggest obsessional imagery welling up from the subconscious. But ultimately the air of secrecy, the peculiar majesty and dream-like, mythic character of her art are strictly her own invention.