Image: The Fugue
(Kiev, Russia, 1899 - 1988, New York)

The Fugue , 1985

Painted wood
49 3/4 in. x 39 in. x 9 in. (126.37 cm x 99.06 cm x 22.86 cm)
Gift of the American Art Foundation in memory of Louis S. Myers
1996.6
Louise Nevelson earned international acclaim for box-like constructions she assembled from wood scavenged from her Manhattan neighborhood. Nevelson favored materials that had a history of use and painted her sculptures a single color, here a warm and reflective dark gray. The primarily element in The Fugue is the headboard for a child’s bed. Turned vertically, it is bracketed by three sections of zig-zagging plywood and compressed between two rough-cut timbers. For the art critic John Russell, the emotional impact of Nevelson’s work “derives from the tension between the pure formal values … and the capacity of living art to redeem and regenerate what society has discarded.”
  
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