Louise Nevelson had passed her sixtieth birthday before the important art press conceded her standing as one of America's greatest living sculptors. In her early years she had little money for materials, so she constructed her art out of discarded wood found abandoned in the streets of New York. Transformed, this unlikely raw material became the stuff of her famous black boxes and later, huge cubistic environmental art which she innovated. Her work is still very mysterious, still and unsettling - its effect is like stumbling upon recurrent childhood dreams.
For the first time, Nevelson agreed to be filmed while she worked, during
the creation of two major new sculptures. The studio footage is extraordinary
as she cajoles her assistants along through her collage assemblage process
- never losing concentration in spite of the camera and boom mike circling
around her. A charismatic and dynamic personality with an iconoclastic direct
approach to life, Nevelson admits that her works are "really for my
visual eye... a feast for myself." Nevelson herself was outgoing, independent,
and self-assured. She feels that her works are "feminine and delicate:
it may look strong, but it is delicate. True strength is delicate. My whole
life is in it, and my whole life is feminine."