59th International Art Exhibition. La Biennale di Venezia
Louise Nevelson. Persistence by The Louise Nevelson Foundation
Procuratie Vecchie, Piazza San Marco
April 23 – September 11, 2022
The Louise Nevelson Foundation is pleased to announce a landmark presentation of the celebrated American artist’s work in the historic rooms of the Procuratie Vecchie in Venice’s Piazza San Marco. An official Collateral Event of the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the exhibition, titled “Louise Nevelson. Persistence”, will mark the 60th anniversary of Nevelson’s representation of the United States in the American Pavilion at the Biennale Arte in 1962.
The presentation, which will include more than 60 works created by Nevelson between the 1950s and the 1980s, is curated by Julia Bryan-Wilson, professor of modern and contemporary art at the University of California, Berkeley. A leading expert on the artist’s work, Bryan-Wilson will publish a monographic book on Nevelson with Yale University Press in 2023. The exhibition, which spans nine rooms on the second floor of the Procuratie Vecchie overlooking Piazza San Marco, will feature the artist’s monumental painted sculptures alongside little-known examples of her important collages, exemplifying Nevelson’s distinctive approach to abstraction and assemblage. Drawing formal and conceptual connections among the artist’s works and between various periods of her career, this presentation will be the first major show of Nevelson’s work in Italy since 2013.
For the first time in the building’s 500 year history, a large part of the Procuratie Vecchie will be made accessible to the public, following a multi-year restoration of the building led by David Chipperfield Architects Milan, which has also served as an advisor for the exhibition. The design of the presentation has been developed with Venetian firm Torsello Architettura and will reflect and amplify David Chipperfield Architects Milan‘s unique vision for the site, one of the most iconic and recognizable buildings in Venice.
The exhibition will showcase Nevelson’s iconic, large-scale black sculptures in painted wood, including highlights from numerous important bodies of work spanning the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. The exhibition will also have examples of her painted white sculpture, including the multi-part columnar installation Dawn’s Presence – Three (1975), as well as works in gold, such as The Golden Pearl (1962). The exhibition highlights the relationship between Nevelson’s work as a sculptor and her lifelong practise of creating wall-based assemblage and collage. Nevelson’s collages and sculptural assemblages are presented in dialogue with the artist’s large-scale work, shedding light on the underpinnings of her artistic process -which the Italian art critic Carla Lonzi described as one of “destruction and transfiguration” – as well as her interest in unconventional materials like raw wood and metal, cardboard, sandpaper, and metallic foil.