GESAMTKUNSTWERK (Louise Nevelson- An American Tribute to British People)

I found this sculpture in the Tate Modern during my visit to London. I felt drawn to this sculpture there was something intriguing me. When I was looking closer at the piece I could see different parts of wooden objects like Table legs, banisters, and wooden off cuts. I was mesmerized by the textures and the ‘flat pack’ concept.


Lousie Nevelson, An American Tribute to the British People, 1960-4, Painted Wood.  

Function- This is on display in the Tate Modern gallery as a sculpture. At the moment the sculpture holds a quite religious shrine feel but I can’t help when viewing this object to wonder what objects went in to making this sculpture and what functions they used to have, for instance I can spot some table legs which would have been used as a functional table  before so it’s interesting for me to see how these wooden off cuts could have been used in a previous life. But all these pieces have been cut and joined together to make this shrine-like sculpture. The artist Louise Nevelson gave this sculpture as a gift to the Tate hence the name ‘An American tribute to the British People’.

Material-I am drawn to the materials evident here because on the sign next to the piece it just says ‘Painted Wood’ but when you look closely you can see fragments of mixed objects tables, frames and off-cuts. It is visually interesting and by the use of one colour (gold in this case) you can blend the materials all into one sculpture as shown here.

Craftsmanship-There are skills evident here one being collecting found objects and making them join together to form a new sculpture. Another skill is creating texture in this piece by found objects and placing them together in a unique way to look like they join and by blending them together by the use of one colour.

Expression- I think there is evidence of expression in this piece, firstly by the use of colour. The use of gold suggests this sculpture is expensive and made of worth. There is also expression in the concept. This idea of being a shrine is something to worship and has age. The objects picked to be included in this ‘shrine’has been given some thought to produce the best possible outcome.

Innovative- I think this piece does speak to me, it shows the use of old objects/off cuts used to be made into something new and of worth, to me this is the perfect depiction of an artist. Finding or collecting an object and recreating/recycling them to make something of worth. I am also interested in the use of found objects and using them in an entirely new way to make something new and contemporary.



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