Louise Nevelson, Night Leaf, 1969, plexiglas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Woodward Foundation, 1976.108.90
In the late 1960s, Louise Nevelson experimented with new techniques and materials, developing work in Plexiglas and Cor-Ten steel. Night Leaf displays an arrangement of opaque black boxes that contain variations of a simple leaf shape. Nevelson emphasized the contrast between nature and technology by using industrial techniques to illustrate an organic form. The rigid plastic transforms the leaf into a geometric and uniform shape, highlighted by the use of black.
“Sometimes it’s the material that takes over; sometimes it’s me that takes over. I permit them to play, like a seesaw. I use action and counteraction, like in music, all the time …” Louise Nevelson, “American Artists on Art,” 1982