Louise Nevelson: The Fourth Dimension

Event has passed (Fri Sep 15, 2017 - Sun Mar 18, 2018)
$5 - $10
Arts, Museums, Modern Art Museums, Artists


Louise Nevelson: The Fourth Dimension brings this important work in SJMA's permanent collection together with personal objects and ephemera from the Peter and Beverly Lipman Collection. Notes from the artist, rare books, and a single black box sculpture made for Jean and Howard Lipman reveal the intimate relationship between the artist and the collectors. The exhibition considers the influence of Sky Cathedral on works Nevelson made in the following decades, including lesser-known wall reliefs and a collage recently acquired by SJMA and on view for the first time.

One of the earliest wall-box sculptures in Nevelson’s highly esteemed series, Sky Cathedral marks a pivotal moment in her career when she began working with architectural space—mounting sculptures to walls and ceilings to create what she termed "worldscapes." Sky Cathedral embodies Nevelson’s enigmatic and capricious understanding of a fourth dimension. A student of metaphysics, she believed that the spiritual quality of her wall arrangements brings "the fourth dimension or elsewhere, into the here and now of the third dimension," suggesting a spatial continuum between the viewer, the object, and the universe. Relying not only on the physicality of her objects, the self-described "architect of shadow" used light and shadow as substance, lending additional illusionary depth to her three-dimensional walls of sculpture. Using a monochromatic palette, Nevelson created the sense of incomprehensible dimensionality—like that of a black hole—imbuing her work with an aura of mystery.

Sponsored by Doris and Alan Burgess. Additional support provided by Cornelia and Nathan Pendleton.

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San Jose Museum of Art
110 S Market St
San Jose, CA
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  1. San Jose Museum of Art
    110 S Market St, San Jose, CA