Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) was an American sculptor known for her monochromatic, wooden wall pieces and outdoor sculptures. Nevelson's iconic wooden sculptures are usually painted entirely black or white, made from many intricately cut pieces fit together in a puzzle-like fashion.
Born in Czarist Russia, her family moved to the US in 1905. She attended art classes at the Art Students League of New York under Hans Hofmann and Chaim Gross, experimenting with early conceptual art using found objects. Through Hoffman, she discovered Cubism and collage, which greatly influenced her artistic development. She also worked for a time as an assistant to Diego Rivera on a mural project, and as an art teacher hired by the Works Progress Administration, which helped support many artists in the 1930s. In 1941, she had her first one-woman show at the Nierendorf Gallery in New York.
In 1958, Nevelson had a breakthrough exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art of her all-black environments. The following year, she gained major recognition for her feature in Sixteen Americans, a group show at The Museum of Modern Art, where she exhibited her room-size, all-white Dawn’s Wedding Feast sculptural group. In the 1960s, Nevelson was showcased at the 31st Venice Biennale and was honored with a retrospective exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In subsequent years, Nevelson received six honorary doctorates and continued to exhibit her work regularly in Europe and the United States. Her work in included in many major museums, including Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Tate, London; the Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin; the Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and numerous other international institutions.