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Louise Nevelson, Series of an Unknown Cosmos CIII, 1979, paper and cardboard collage mounted on wood, 20 x 24". © Estate of Louise Nevelson/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Louise Nevelson

L&M Arts | Los Angeles

Louise Nevelson, Series of an Unknown Cosmos CIII, 1979, paper and cardboard collage mounted on wood, 20 x 24". © Estate of Louise Nevelson/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Louise Nevelson is so frequently invoked as a primary representative of postwar sculpture—and especially that made by women—that even the United States Postal Service has commemorated her with a series of stamps. Perhaps this neat apotheosis owes to Nevelson’s self-presentation: Her turbaned head and shellacked face, her mink-adorned eyelashes and rich caftans could only contribute to a hagiography that was established early on through tales of her birth in czarist Ukraine and was even more widely embraced in the years after the artist’s death, in 1988. Hers is a great story—so captivating, in fact, that her biographical details have routinely been used to point to causality where there may only be correlation. Her father’s occupation as a contractor and lumber merchant and her experience as a young immigrant in the sylvan recesses of New England, for example, are

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