Cascades Perpendiculars I

Louise Nevelson

Internationally known for her wood constructions, Louise Nevelson was one of the most renowned sculptors of the twentieth century. Born in Russia and brought up in Maine, Nevelson studied painting at New York's Art Students League before turning to sculpture. Her interest in so-called primitive art, as well as in Cubism and Surrealism, led her to experiment with found objects. She assembled lumber, spindles, spools, finials, columns, and dozens of plain wood fragments in boxes, which were then stacked in large wall-like arrangements. These structures, which the artist produced for almost forty years, were painted a single color, often black, and thus take on the mysterious air of totemic forms. "Cascades Perpendiculars I" is the first in a series of sculptures constructed from the decorative remnants of the organ of Saint Marks' Church in the Bowery in New York, which was damaged by fire in 1978. While the work shares the matte black surface and abstract arrangement of various components characteristic with Nevelson's other pieces, the composition is less self-contained and somber then many of her constructions.
Date of Birth
Wood, painted black
108 1/2 x 34 1/2 x 28 in. (275.59 x 87.63 x 71.12 cm.)
Accession #
Credit Line
Gift of the friends of Bernice McIlhenny Wintersteen in honor of her 80th birthday, and the Ware Trust Fund