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Dawn’s Forest

The Sculpture of Louise Nevelson


Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988), Dawn’s Forest (a column displayed in Artis—Naples, Hayes Hall, Drackett Gallery), 1986. Painted balsa-plywood. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2010.7. Gift of GA-Met, a joint venture Georgia-Pacific, LLC. © 2019 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988), Dawn’s Forest (a column displayed in Artis—Naples, Hayes Hall, Drackett Gallery), 1986. Painted balsa-plywood. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2010.7. Gift of GA-Met, a joint venture of Georgia-Pacific, LLC. © 2020 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Currently on exhibition

Ongoing Exhibition
Located in the Drackett Gallery and throughout Hayes Hall


Dawn’s Forest is Louise Nevelson’s (1899-1988) largest, most complex environmental sculpture and her last major work. Created in the artist’s signature assemblage style, the monumental sculpture is made of various white-painted abstract wood elements. The work’s monochromatic coloration gives a sense of unity to its disparate objects, the white finish suggestive of the untainted possibilities that dawn brings to each day. The tree-like standing columns, as tall as 25 feet, and vertical hanging pieces all underscore the forest-like atmosphere, allowing the viewer to walk under the “trees” as well as through them.

Nevelson worked on Dawn’s Forest for more than a year, completing it in the spring of 1986. It is unusual among her environmental sculptures because of its size and its color; most of her other large works were painted black. Commissioned by Georgia-Pacific and MetLife, Dawn’s Forest was displayed at the Georgia-Pacific Center in Atlanta from 1986 until 2010. With generous support by Robert T. and Terry Edwards, Barbara and Ron Balser and Georgia-Pacific, it was acquired by Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum in 2010.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, in 1899, Nevelson immigrated to the U.S. in 1905. She grew up in Rockland, Maine, and later moved to New York City, where she lived most of her life. After a brief marriage and the birth of a son, Nevelson went to Munich to study art with Hans Hofmann. She returned to New York in 1932 and fully committed herself to her art.

Nevelson is widely recognized as one of the preeminent American artists of the last half of the 20th century. A pioneer of installation art, she struggled for decades in near obscurity before winning widespread recognition in her 60s. By the late 1970s, ARTnews proclaimed, “Louise Nevelson’s name is probably recognized more than that of any other American artist.”

With the long-term reinstallation of Dawn’s Forest in Hayes Hall, we highlight one of the most iconic works in The Baker Museum’s permanent collection.


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Selected Views

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988), Dawn’s Forest (as it was displayed in Georgia-Pacific Center Lobby, Atlanta, Georgia. 1986-June 2010), 1986. Painted balsa-plywood. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2010.7. Gift of GA-Met, a joint venture Georgia-

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988), Dawn’s Forest (as it was displayed in Georgia-Pacific Center Lobby, Atlanta, Georgia. 1986-June 2010), 1986. Painted balsa-plywood. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2010.7. Gift of GA-Met, a joint venture of Georgia-Pacific, LLC. © 2020 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988), Dawn’s Forest (as it was displayed in Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, The Figge Conservatory, June 2010-February 2013), 1986. Painted balsa-plywood. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2010.7. Gift of GA-Met, a joi

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988), Dawn’s Forest (as it was displayed in Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum, The Figge Conservatory, June 2010-February 2013), 1986. Painted balsa-plywood. Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2010.7. Gift of GA-Met, a joint venture of Georgia-Pacific, LLC. © 2020 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988), Dawn’s Forest (as it was displayed in Southwest Florida International Airport, East Atrium upper level between Concourse B and C, Fort Myers, Florida. February 2013-June 2015), 1986. Painted balsa-plywood. Artis—

Louise Nevelson (American, 1899-1988), Dawn’s Forest (as it was displayed in Southwest Florida International Airport, East Atrium upper level between Concourse B and C, Fort Myers, Florida. February 2013-June 2015), 1986. Painted balsa-plywood.Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum. 2010.7. Gift of GA-Met, a joint venture of Georgia-Pacific, LLC. © 2020 Estate of Louise Nevelson / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.


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This presentation of Dawn's Forest
has been organized by Artis—Naples, The Baker Museum.

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