Nevelson Box

ASSIGNMENT 1: Additive Process: ASSEMPLAGE Nevelson Box

This assignment is an exercise in evaluating form and space by arranging found objects within a prescribed space. By neutralizing the influence/effect of the individual object’s color and material by painting the assemblage with one color we are forced to look at only the relationship between the forms themselves and the effects of light, shadow and depth. An additional result is also apparent in the effect/ feeling that the chosen single color can communicate.

The process is based on the work of artist Louise Nevelson.


Pablo Picasso

Louise Nevelson

  • Gestalt
  • Repetition
    • Units
  • Demonstration
  • Process

Demonstration: Box Construction

Construct Boxes


Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson’s room-sized wood sculptures have been hailed as emblematic of many different movements, including Abstract Expressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. Monochromatic and usually black, with isolated departures into white and gold, Nevelson assembled the sculptures using discarded pieces of wood that she received or found on the street. As part of Nevelson’s massive, commanding works of art, the scrap wood takes on majestic proportions, reflecting the artist’s personal story of dislocation and self-invention.

To create her sculpture, Nevelson stacked boxes against a wall and filled each compartment with found wooden scraps including moldings, dowels, spindles, and furniture parts. She then covered the entire assemblage with black paint, both unifying the composition and obscuring the individual objects. She once explained her fascination with the color black: “It wasn’t a negation of color. It was an acceptance. Because black encompasses all colors.” The towering geometric construction plays with flatness and recession, straight lines and curves, overlaps and vacancies.