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Night Sail

Louise Nevelson | Los Angeles

Image of installation Image of installation


Wells Fargo Center
333 S. Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90071

About the work

Night Sail is an aluminum and steel collage of different elements that include nautical forms assembled on a common frame. The frame is coated with black matte paint which the artist, Louise Nevelson, once described as an “aristocratic” color and that she used repeatedly throughout her career. The title, Night Sail, alludes to the expansiveness of the open sea that reminded her of the open vistas she saw during a visit to the then undeveloped Bunker Hill neighborhood.

Located in the Wells Fargo Center Plaza joining two office towers designed by Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill and weighing 33 tons, Night Sail is emblematic of downtown LA’s literal and figurative growth as well as the expansive embrace of the arts for which the Bunker Hill community has been and continues to be recognized.

Louise Nevelson (1899-1988) and her family immigrated in the early 1900s from Kiev, Russia to the United States where they settled in Rockland, Maine. Married at a young age to Charles Nevelson, the couple moved to New York where she enrolled at the Art Students League. In the 1930s, Nevelson assisted Diego Rivera on a mural for the Rockefeller Center. Nevelson is most recognized for her abstract expressionist artworks composed of found objects grouped together and painted in monochromatic colors. Nevelson’s work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. The Louise Nevelson Plaza, an outdoor garden of her wood and metal collages, was established in Lower Manhattan in 1979 to commemorate her work.