|Louise Nevelson, Rain Garden II, 1977|
Upon first viewing Louise Nevelson, I was always searching for a place for my eyeball to rest and relax. I thought of the pieces as muddled and crowded, and I longed for a little space to breath. I believe it was my husband who told me to look at Nevelson when I threw out the idea of doing a three-dimensional mural. When perusing her images, I was under-impressed at first. Louise Nevelson forces you to work for the appreciation of what she does, and to be perfectly honest, I am a lazy artviewer. There was some sort of statistic a while back that the average Joe or Jane spends 2 seconds per artwork at a museum. 2 seconds! No wonder Louise said, "Hey, you've got to take a closer look." These pieces are not for the lackadasical viewer that simply wishes to hang back and enjoy the view. These artworks challenge you to inspect and find that space to make yourself relax into viewing it.
The above work, Rain Garden II, is what I consider to be the basic crowd-pleaser Nevelson that everyone should start with. The work gives you a little bit of organization, which our eye is always searching for. Movement is the name of the game with this piece. The repetitious circles make the eye bounce from one box to the next, so that we see the artwork as one overall piece, as opposed to 22 separate boxes. The curves are like directional arrows taking your eye on a path to the next box. This was the first Louise that I started to enjoy, and now that I see it again, over and over, I discover that I want to keep learning about it. I want to know what objects she makes her art out of. With this pixellated image (the only one available, apparently), I've discovered many furniture parts and spindles from stair railings. I believe the circles are the decorative trim to door frames. My most favorite objects in her other pieces are the wooden thread spools. For whatever reason, I save a wooden thread spool whenever I come across one. I like the antiquated look of them, and how they remind me of a time when no plastic existed. I think I like Louise for the same reason that I like the thread spools.