Louise Nevelson (1899 - 1988) Ukrainian born, American sculptor, artisan and engraver, is a and uncontested name in the American art world. Her aesthetic and plastic concepts have extended the frontiers of sculpture and have unveiled new and unsuspected paths. Her hands have given spiritual existence to the materials she has shaped.
I always wanted to show the world that art is everywhere, except it has to pass through a creative mind. I don’t think you can touch a thing that cannot be rehabilitated into another life. And once I gave the whole world life in that sense I could use anything, declared the artist.
She produced majestic and scintillating works : a magic world which encompasses and completely involves the observer. It was without prejudice that she showed how an insignificant piece of wood can gain in dignity and become part of a harmonic setting, in which its fundamental importance is clearly understood; as if it had been given a new existence: as if it had been resurrected. The artist clearly illustrated the concept if an object is in the right place, it’s enhanced to grandeur, by transcending its own materiality.
Her eyes, her curiosity and her interest in understanding the world kept her awake and attentive to all forms of art: tribal, religious and mystical. She was particularly interested in Pre-Columbian art, which would be passed on to some of her more important works.
She always knew she would be an artist and she never questioned or doubted it: I wanted one thing that I thought belonged to me she said firmly when referring to the recognition and high prestige that her name had attained.
She was a pioneer and never considered being a woman an obstacle to her career, but always felt that her work was the creation of a feminine sensitivity.
She spent most of the 20th century working alone but she also worked with Diego Rivera and I.M. Pei, among others. She died in 1988 leaving an enchanting work which populates the streets of a number of American cities, one of her works can be found in New York near Wall Street and bears her name. Her works are exhibited in no less than 43 international museums.
For the first time in Portugal the Arpad Szenes-Vieira da Silva foundation is presenting a careful selection from her remarkable work which includes drawings of the only series existing from the early stage of her career, ceramics and black sculptures, from the Louise Nevelson Estate and the Anderson Gallery , Buffalo, N. Y. under the curatorship of Cecilia de Torres
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva was a great admirer of Louise Nevelson - in 1961 at the time of Vieira da Silva’s exhibition in the Knoedler Gallery in New York she insisted on visiting her. In addition to their mutual artistic admiration, both artists shared an interest in defending the freedom of peoples. This exhibition is included in the cycle Arpad and Vieira’s Friends.
Louise Nevelson, Vieira da Silva and Magdalena Abakanovicz : L’espace en demeure (1978), Gallery Jeanne Bucher, Paris.