Dictionary of Art and Artists



 

 


History of

Architecture and Sculpture

 
 

 

 
 

 
 

CONTENTS:

 
 

PART ONE
THE ANCIENT WORLD
PREHISTORIC ART
EGYPTIAN ART

ANCIENT NEAR EASTERN ART
AEGEAN ART
GREEK ART
ETRUSCAN ART
ROMAN ART
EARLY CHRISTIAN AND BYZANTINE ART

PART TWO
THE MIDDLE AGES
EARLY MEDIEVAL ART
ROMANESQUE ART
GOTHIC ART

PART THREE
THE RENAISSANCE THROUGH THE ROCOCO
LATE GOTHIC
THE EARLY RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
THE HIGH RENAISSANCE IN ITALY
MANNERISM AND OTHER TRENDS
THE RENAISSANCE IN THE NORTH
THE BAROQUE IN ITALY AND SPAIN
THE BAROQUE IN FLANDERS AND HOLLAND
THE BAROQUE
THE ROCOCO

PART FOUR
THE MODERN WORLD
NEOCLASSICISM AND ROMANTICISM
REALISM AND IMPRESSIONISM
POST-IMPRESSIONISM, SYMBOLISM, AND ART NOUVEAU

PART FIVE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY
TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
TWENTIETH-CENTURY ARCHITECTURE


INDEX
FIGURES

 

 
 

 
 

CHAPTER TWO
 

TWENTIETH-CENTURY SCULPTURE
 

SCULPTURE BEFORE WORLD WAR I
SCULPTURE BETWEEN THE WARS - Part1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
SCULPTURE SINCE 1945 - Part1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
 
 


SCULPTURE

 


SCULPTURE SINCE 1945

 


Constructions and Assemblage



John Chamberlain.

A most successful example of junk sculpture, and a puzzling borderline case of assemblage and sculpture, is Essex (fig.
1159) by John Chamberlain (born 1927). The title refers to a make of car that has not been on the market for many years, suggesting that the object is a kind of homage to a vanished species. But we may well doubt that these pieces of enameled tin ever had so specific an origin. They have been carefully selected for their shape and color, and composed in such a way that they form a new entity, evoking Duchamp-Villon's The Great Horse (fig. 1128) rather than the crumpled automobiles to which they once belonged. Whether we prefer to call Essex assemblage or sculpture is of little importance, but in trying to reach a decision we gain a better insight into the qualities that constitute its appeal.
 


1159. John Chamberlain. Essex. 1960.
Automobile body parts and other metal,
274.3 x 203.2 x 109.2 cm.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York

 

 


John Chamberlain

John Chamberlain, (born April 16, 1927, Rochester, Ind., U.S.), U.S. Abstract Expressionist sculptor whose work is characterized by an emotional approach to concept and execution.

After study at the Art Institute of Chicago, where he began working in metals, and at Black Mountain College in North Carolina (1955–56), he had his first one-man show in Chicago in 1957. Chamberlain’s sculptures are typified by “Mr. Press” (1961), a construction of fragments from automobiles, crumpled and jammed together to create an effect of isolated, frozen movement. He often coated his pieces with bright industrial paints.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 




John Chamberlain. Untitled





John Chamberlain. Untitled Wall Sculpture




John Chamberlain. Nutcracker





John Chamberlain. Big E





Louise Nevelson.

Although it is almost always made entirely of wood, the work of Louise Nevelson
(1900-1988) must be classified as assemblage, and when extended to a monumental scale, it acquires the status of an environment. Before Nevelson, there had not been any important women sculptors in twentieth-century America. Sculpture had traditionally been reserved for men because of the manual labor involved. Thanks to the women's suffrage movement in the second half of the nineteenth century, Harriet Hosmer (1830-1908) and her "White Marmorean Flock" (as the novelist Henry James called her and her followers in Rome) had succeeded in legitimizing sculpture as a medium for women. This school of sculpture lapsed, however, when the sentimental, idealizing Neoclassical style fell out of favor after the Philadelphia Centennial of 1876.

In the 1950s Nevelson rejected external reality and began to construct a private one from her collection of found pieces of wood, both carved and rough. At first these self-contained realms were miniature cityscapes, but they soon grew into large environments of free-standing "buildings," encrusted with decorations that were inspired by the sculpture on Mayan ruins. Nevelson s work generally took the form of large wall units that flatten her architecture into reliefs (fig. 1160).

Assembled from individual compartments, the whole is always painted a single color, usually a matte black to suggest the shadowy world of dreams. Each compartment is elegantly designed and is itself a metaphor of thought or experience. While the organization of the ensemble is governed by an inner logic, the entire statement remains an enigmatic monument to the artist's fertile imagination.




1160. Louise Nevelson. Black Chord. 1964. Painted wood, 2.44 m x 3.05 m x 29.2 cm.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

 

 


Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson, née Berliawsky (born September 23?, 1899/1900, Kiev—died April 17, 1988, New York City), American sculptor known for her large, monochromatic abstract sculptures and environments in wood and other materials.

In 1905 she moved with her family from the Ukraine to Rockland, Me. She married businessman Charles Nevelson in 1920 and later left her husband and child to pursue her artistic ambitions. In 1929 she began studying with Kenneth Hayes Miller at the Art Students League in New York City, and in 1931 she studied with Hans Hofmann in Munich.

Nevelson’s first individual exhibition was held in New York City in 1941. Her early figurative sculptures in wood, terra-cotta, bronze, and plaster (e.g., “Ancient Figure,” 1932) show a preoccupation with blockish, interlocking masses that recall the sculpture of Central America (where she traveled in the 1940s) and anticipate her mature style. It was also in the figurative work that her characteristic found objects (objets trouvés) first appeared, here as stylized features and appendages (e.g., “The Circus Clown,” 1942).

After enduring years of poverty and critical neglect, Nevelson by the 1950s had both developed her mature sculptural style and begun to earn significant critical recognition. By this time she was working almost exclusively with abstract forms. She is best-known for works dating from this period; these consist of open-faced wooden boxes that are stacked to make freestanding walls. Within the boxes are displayed carefully arranged and highly suggestive collections of abstract-shaped objects mingled with chair legs, pieces of balustrades, and other found objects and pieces of bric-a-brac. The boxes and their contents are painted a single colour, usually black, though she coloured sculptures in white or gold as well. These accumulations of architectural debris and vaguely recognizable objects elicit a sense of mystery and antiquity while also achieving infinitely varied formal tensions between the objects so displayed, thanks to her skill at arranging them. Many of these pieces bear mystical titles (e.g., “Sky Cathedral,” 1958; “Silent Music II,” 1964; “Sky Gate—New York,” one of her largest wall sculptures, World Trade Center, New York City, 1978).

Major museums began purchasing Nevelson’s wall sculptures in the late 1950s, and in the following decades she won recognition as one of the foremost sculptors of the second half of the 20th century. In 1967 the first major retrospective of her work was presented at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City. During the 1970s and ’80s Nevelson expanded the variety of materials used in her sculptures, incorporating objects made of aluminum, Plexiglas, and Lucite.

Encyclopædia Britannica
 

 

 


Louise Nevelson. Luminous Zag: Night
1971


 

Louise Nevelson. White Vertical Water
1972


 

Louise Nevelson. Rain Garden II


 

Louise Nevelson. Untitled
1950


 

Louise Nevelson. Untitled
1959


 

Louise Nevelson. Night Zag III
1971


 

Louise Nevelson. The Great Wall


 

Louise Nevelson. Untitled


 

Louise Nevelson. Cat



 

Louise Nevelson. City - Space - Scape V


 

Louise Nevelson. King Solomon with the World in the Palm of his Hand


 

Louise Nevelson. Ice Palace 1


 

Louise Nevelson. Night Leaf


 

Louise Nevelson. Painted Wood Wall


 

Louise Nevelson. Royal Winds




 

Louise Nevelson. Untitled




 

Louise Nevelson. Untitled




 

Louise Nevelson. Sky Gate XIII




 

Louise Nevelson. Mirror Shadow VII




 

Louise Nevelson. Bride and Disk and Groom and Disk




 

Louise Nevelson. Case with Five Balusters




 

Louise Nevelson. Dawn's Wedding Chapel IV




 

Louise Nevelson. Royal Tide I




 

Louise Nevelson. Self-Portrait: Silent Music IV




 

Louise Nevelson. Sky Cathedral




 

Louise Nevelson. Atmosphere and Environment XII



 

Louise Nevelson. Sky Cathedral


 

Louise Nevelson. City on the High Mountain


 

Louise Nevelson. Untitled


 

Louise Nevelson. Black Zag Z


 

Louise Nevelson. Sky Cathedral
 
 

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