Get Inspired by Louise Nevelson

top image: Louise Nevelson (American, born Ukraine 1899-1988), Untitled (#9577), ca. 1970, black painted wood construction, 5 ½ x 8 3/8 x 5 3/8 inches. Bequest of Lura Gard Newhouse Family Trust, R2013-9.

bottom image: Louise Nevelson (American, born Ukraine 1899-1988), Rain Garden Cryptic XXXV, 1970, painted wood, 5 ¼ x 11 ½ x 7 ¾ inches. Gift of Neal Schenet, 24-2003.

Rediscover old, used, or forgotten objects and then arrange them together to create a puzzle-like assemblage. Paint the result in a single color in the same way that visual artist and sculptor Louise Nevelson does, often in either black or white.

Assemblage combines everyday materials to create an arrangement. It is similar to collage, but is typically three-dimensional.

Learn more about Nevelson

Activity Instructions

Step 1

Collect your objects! Find a box to use as your base. If you do not have a box, use a flat thick surface sturdy enough to support the glued-on objects. Keep in mind, the larger the base, the more objects you will need to arrange to cover the surface.

Take time to observe your surroundings for possible objects. Be on the lookout for objects that are forgotten, broken or no longer used, such as old game pieces or sewing supplies.

You might also collect objects that can be recycled, like the cardboard from a paper towel roll.

Step 2

Arrange your items on your base. Experiment with different layouts until you find one that seems visually interesting to you.

Step 3

Glue your items with heavy-duty glue and let them dry.

Tip: Take a photo of your arrangement before you begin to glue the pieces so that you do not forget the layout when you apply glue.

Step 4

Keep your assemblage as is, or paint it one color, such as black or white.