Art: Night and Silence, Who Is There?

Nevelson 's palace goes on show in Manhattan

The dandy of American art is a woman, Louise Nevelson. Nobody is more recognizable: the fine, blade-nosed Aztec face with its monstrous false eyelashes, like clumps of mink, is as manifestly the property of an artist as Picasso's monkey mask. The sight of Nevelson under full sail—mole-colored hunting cap, peasant flounces, Chinese brocade and wolfskin, bronze pendants clanking, boar's teeth rattling—is one of the few spectacles of complete self-possession in American life; the 19th century poet who walked his live lobster on a ribbon outside the...

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