December Female Artist

Happy Monday y’all! I hope you have all had a good week. Here in London we had a super exciting weekend with a huge amount of snow! London hasn’t had that kind of snow in years according to my husband so this was super exciting for me. It also reminded me of home! During this “snow storm”, we also ventured out to the Renegade Craft Fair happening all the way out at Brick Lane. It was so great to see some amazing crafters and makers out here doing what they love. We also then had the perfect excuse to hit up the Brick Lane Beigel Bake for the perfect brunch time Salt Beef beigel. (10/10 would recommend if you are ever in London!)

As promised, the December Freebie is being included with this post! You can find it at the bottom of the page. It is quite a big one, so happy holidays my loves!

In other news, about this time last month I decided I really wanted to start a new series of blog posts. I know when I am following other bloggers, I love consistent content and learning something that is either interesting or educating. Which is why I have decided that every month I will be writing a post about an amazing Female Artist. A woman who is/was a pioneer in the art world, someone who you can look to for inspirations and motivation to keep creating. For this series I will have one post a month about the artist history, their art, and why I think you should love them (and also why I love them).

So for the first month, I will be starting with a personal favourite of mine, the fabulous Louise Nevelson!

Dec Artist of the Month

Biography

Louise Nevelson born September 23, 1899 in the Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire (present-day Ukraine), she emigrated with her family to the United States in the early 20th century. Her father was a lumberjack, which would later greatly influence her art. Her mother wore flamboyant outfits with heavy make-up (something that Nevelson adapted as well); Nevelson described her mother’s style as “art, her pride, and her job”. Nevelson recalled knowing that she would be an artist from the age of 9, having been drawn to the field after observing a plaster cast of a statue of Joan of Arc at the Rockland Public Library. She dreamed of escaping to New York to study art while she was still a high school student. After studying with the Art Students League of New York in the 1930s, Louise Nevelson had her first solo exhibit in 1941. She then when onto to exhibit around the world until her death in 1988.

Work

Louise Nevelson, "White Column" from "Dawn's Wedding Feast," 1959

“White Column” 1959 Photo Credit: National Museum of Women in the Arts

As I previously mentioned, Louise Nevelson’s work was heavily influenced by her father’s career in the lumber industry. While her male counterparts were using metals and ready made objects to gain notoriety in the art world, Nevelson built large scale sculptures and “walls” out of found object, mostly wood from the streets of New York that she would paint to be monochromatic. Nevelson called herself “the original recycler” owing to her extensive use of discarded objects. She found strong influence in Picasso and Hofmann’s cubist ideals, describing the Cubist movement as “one of the greatest awarenesses that the human mind has ever come to.” Nevelson also found influence in Native American and Mayan art, dreams, the cosmos, and her own life.

Legacy

Louise Nevelson’s work was groundbreaking for female artists. At a time when only men created large scale works, her sculptures spoke volumes to the feminist movement. Her works initiated an era in which women’s history became suitable subject matter for monumental artistic representation. She is credited with triggering the examination of femininity in art and challenging the vision of what type of art women would be creating with her dark, monumental, masculine and totem-like artworks. However, Nevelson claims that she was not a feminist, just an artist who is a woman.

Outside of her influence on Feminist art, her sculpture also set a precedent for the installation art of the late 1960s and 1970s, since she designed each element in an exhibition to function both as an integral part of the holistic installation and as an individual object.

“I fell in love with black; it contained all color. It wasn’t a negation of color… Black is the most aristocratic color of all… You can be quiet, and it contains the whole thing.”

To me, Louise Nevelson’s work is electrifying. Though my personal aesthetic leans more towards her early works, even her later works take my breath away. I remember the first time I saw one of her works in person. My art class had gone to Chicago for the annual Art Expo at Navy Pier. A gallery was showing one of her smaller works, I stared at the beautiful black sculpture for about 30 minutes. Several people came by, but no one seemed as entranced by her work as I did. (If you ever get the chance to her work in person, I would highly recommend taking extra care to really look at her work.)

nevelson-blackwall-1959

“Black Wall”, 1959 Photo Credit: Tate Modern

Her use of shape and negative space has consistently inspired me to dig deeper into my art, to create more layers and more levels of process and thought into my work. This is something that I really think makes her a great artist. She has inspired many female artist and she still is inspiring women. Nevelson’s work has an everlasting quality about it that essential to being one of the greatest artist of the 20th century. Her attitude towards life brings me joy. I want to emulate her strength, honesty, and creative in everything I do.

I want to challenge all of you to try to create with her sincerity and dedication (this would be an excellent 2018 goal *wink, wink*). Even you aren’t a sculpture, there is something you can learn from Louise Nevelson. Don’t become lost in the ebb and flow of everyday life. Be different. Be free. Be You.

louise-nevelson-quote

If you have a favourite female artist you want me to write about comment her name below!

Here is the link to the super awesome December Freebie! It is an 8.5×11” Printable 2018 Calendar!

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preview calendar

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