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Louise Nevelson Assemblage Lesson Plan

Level: Primary, Junior, Middle School, High School
Grades: 1-12 Age: 6 to 18+yrs | Written by: Nicole Smith
[Nicole is an art teacher from Vancouver, BC, Canada]

Students will discover the art of Louise Nevelson as they enjoy making art out of recycled materials, or "junk".


The student :

What You Need:
What You Do:
  1. Cut a cardboard box in half to use as the frame for the piece. Otherwise, you can cut out a large, square, flat piece of cardboard for the back support.
  2. Chose your objects carefully and arrange them aesthetically inside the box or on the square.You may want to cut pieces to fit. For older students, think about what the objects were before and how they will be read into the piece when finished.
  3. Glue the pieces in place.
  4. Louise Nevelson Assemblage

  5. Paint the entire sculpture black. Don’t forget the sides and the back.
  6. Louise Nevelson Assemblage

  7. If you have a group of students that have each done a box, you can assemble them back to back in a three-dimensional sculpture. If you have assembled the sculpture on the flat cardboard you can attach it to the wall for a similar affect. Nevelson did both in her practice.

Louise Nevelson Assemblage

About Louise Nevelson

Born: 1900; Died 1988

Louise Nevelson was a towering figure in postwar American art, exerting great influence with her monumental installations, innovative sculptures made of found objects, and celebrated public artworks. The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson focuses on all phases of the artist’s remarkable ascent to the top of the art world, from her groundbreaking works of the 1940s to complex pieces completed in the late 1980s. Nevelson’s flamboyant style and carefully cultivated persona enhanced her reputation as an artist of the first rank.

Nevelson’s work examines a wide variety of important issues and themes throughout her career, including the role of monochromatic color in her painted wooden sculpture; the art-historical context of her work; her acclaimed large-scale commissioned artworks, which established her as a central figure in the public art revival of the late 1960s; and her "self-fashioning" as a celebrated artist, particularly her origins as a Ukrainian-born Jewish immigrant to the United States.

A revolutionary 20th-century artist.

Portrait of Louise Nevelson wearing two wooden necklaces and a bracelet in her living room / Photograph by Ugo Mulas / ca. 1965

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