Nevelson built her "wall" sculptures from prefabricated wooden boxes, stocking them with objects that she found around her: in the case of Homage to the World, she used hat stands and table legs. In her use of the "found object," she extended the legacy of the wood constructions and collages of Picasso and his circle after World War I, but pushed this idea to an architectural scale. Her "walls" also owe a debt to the iconoclastic innovations of American painters in the 1950s—notably Mark Rothko, Clifford Still, and Barnett Newman—for the increased scale, use of non-traditional materials, and interest in creating an engulfing, sensuous environment. In these works, Nevelson sought to create her own universe, perhaps as a shelter from her personal loneliness. The uniform coat of matte black paint that covers the "wall" suggests infinite space, distance, mystery, and shadow.
Artist Louise Nevelson, American, 1899 - 1988
  • Homage to the World
Date 1966
Medium painted wood
Dimensions Overall: 102 inches × 28 feet 8 inches (259.1 cm × 8 m 73.8 cm)
Credit Line Founders Society Purchase, Friends of Modern Art Fund other Founders Society Funds
Accession Number 66.192
Department Contemporary Art after 1950
Not On View
1966-present, purchase by the Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit, Michigan, USA)
Art News 65, no. 6 (Oct. 1966): 58, 61.

Louise Nevelson. Exh. cat., Whitney Museum of American Art. New York, 1967, no. 94 (ill.).

Bazin, Germain. The History of World Sculpture. New York, 1970, pl. 1021, p. 447, (ill.). (Error, titled as "Homage to 6,000,000", on extended loan to Jewish Museum from the Albert A. List family).