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Julia Quinn Bryan-Wilson
Regents of the University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA 94704-5940)
The Works of American Sculptor Louise Nevelson (1899–1988)

Preparation of a book about the American sculptor Louise Nevelson (1899-1988).

Louise Nevelson’s Modernisms will be the first scholarly monograph to closely examine the monochromatic sculptures of a well-known but little studied figure within 20th-century American art. Though Nevelson frequently showed alongside Abstract Expressionist artists in her lifetime (1899-1988), I claim that her scavenged wood wall-based grids, which hover between painting and sculpture, continue to resist easy categorization. The book asserts that Nevelson's work challenges and complicates what modernism looks like, and argues that her color choices (in particular her stated allegiance to blackness) as well as her formal interest in carpentry propose political identifications, ones that offer novel ways of conceiving how sculpture constructs multiple selves in relation to race and gender. I define her modernisms as multiple, related to her art’s aesthetic of embellishment and to her understanding of herself as an atypical modern woman.

Project fields:
Art History and Criticism; Gender Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2018 – 7/31/2018