American artist Louise Nevelson has been an inspiration for several elements of our style aesthetic for some time now. The textural and stylistic elements of her sculpture have found their way into our collection a few times, particularly with the Tweed fabric design in our Bridal + Eveningwear Collection. Its sculptural qualities can find parentage in her layering techniques.
Central among Nevelson’s large installation sculptures (known as assemblage sculpture) was “Dawn’s Wedding Feast” a full room-sized work that became one of her signature pieces. The sculpture was created in 1959 for the Museum of Modern Art as an all-white wood assemblage including four chapels, a bride and groom, a wedding cake, furniture, and columns that were meant to represent guests. White, to Nevelson, represented “emotional promise” and “summoned the early morning”, making it ideal to exemplify the traditional aspect of the wedding and the promise of newness that surrounds it. Each element of the work was made from discarded wood pieces reassembled to create symmetrical figures—like two tall columns with disk-like bases: “Bride and Disk” and “Groom and Disk.”
The installation was eventually broken down into 16 individual sculptures all centered around the theme of matrimony. The Bride and Groom became iconic, with the disks attached interpreted to represent the sun and moon and dawn’s role in the allegory of the wedding feast.
Lead image: Dawn’s Wedding Feast (1959-1960). Photo courtesy of ritalovestowrite.com.