Homage to the World, 1966

  • Louise Nevelson, American, 1899 - 1988

Painted wood

  • Overall: 102 inches × 28 feet 8 inches (259.1 cm × 8 m 73.8 cm)

Founders Society Purchase, Friends of Modern Art Fund other Founders Society Funds

66.192

Department

Contemporary Art after 1950

  • Abstraction
  • Monumental
  • Black
  • Monochrome
  • Abstract expressionist
  • Painting (coating)
  • Wood
  • Sculpture
  • Construction (sculpture)

Nevelson built her "wall" sculptures from prefabricated wooden boxes, stocking them with objects that she found around her: in the case of Homage to the World, she used hat stands and table legs. In her use of the "found object," she extended the legacy of the wood constructions and collages of Picasso and his circle after World War I, but pushed this idea to an architectural scale. Her "walls" also owe a debt to the iconoclastic innovations of American painters in the 1950s—notably Mark Rothko, Clyfford Still, and Barnett Newman—for the increased scale, use of non-traditional materials, and interest in creating an engulfing, sensuous environment. In these works, Nevelson sought to create her own universe, perhaps as a shelter from her personal loneliness. The uniform coat of matte black paint that covers the "wall" suggests infinite space, distance, mystery, and shadow.

1966-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)

Art News 65, no. 6 (Oct. 1966): 58, 61. Louise Nevelson. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1967, no. 94 (ill.). Bazin, Germain. The History of World Sculpture. New York, 1970, pl. 1021, p. 447, (ill.). (Error, titled as "Homage to 6,000,000", on extended loan to Jewish Museum from the Albert A. List family).

© 2005 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Louise Nevelson, Homage to the World, 1966, painted wood. Detroit Institute of Arts, Founders Society Purchase, Friends of Modern Art Fund other Founders Society Funds, 66.192.