Vertical Zag I

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988)
Painted wood and Formica 
80 x 29-3/8 x 4 in. (203.2 x 74.6 x 10.2 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of the Artist 
Accession Number:
© 2013 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
On View

A pioneering sculptor of the 20th century, Louise Nevelson is best known for her intricately designed, monochromatic wood sculptures. In Vertical Zag I, compartments housing cubes, cuboids (three–dimensional rectangles), pyramids, archways and cylinders compose a dynamic relief. The black monochrome finish, a common characteristic of Nevelson’s work, enhances the quiet monumentality of the sculpture, evoking the New York City skyline. Dubbing herself “The Architect of Shadow,” Nevelson aimed to capture shadows, transforming them into what feel like independent, elemental forms. In her own words, “You see shadow and everything else on earth actually is moving. Movement—that’s in color, that’s in form, that’s in almost everything. Shadow is fleeting... and I arrest it and I give it a solid substance.”


Dunkelman Gallery, Toronto (?), 1968 to;
Louise Nevelson, Gift 1969 to;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, 1969-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena.

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