Space | Louise Nevelson

Louise Nevelson

Transparent Horizon, 1975

Welded Cor-ten steel, painted


240 in. x 252 in. x 97 in. (609.6 cm x 640.08 cm x 246.38 cm)

Purchased with MIT Percent-for-Art Funds

This public art tour is an investigation of the space within and around the select pieces of public art on MIT’s campus. Walk around, through, and under pieces to find different relationships and perspectives.

This tour was created by Joe Faraguna, Class of 2020 in Bioengineering. Faraguna was a List Center Student Guide for all four years of his undergraduate career. 

Chasing transparency and clarity, Louis Nevelson often incorporated organic, botanical shapes into her outdoor structures. Nevelson also worked extensively with found materials instead of carving new forms. Her sculpture’s mix of straight and curved forms references I.M. Pei’s distinctive Ralph Landau Building behind it while also breaking from its strict grid. The two distinct halves of the piece – one a tropical tree, the other a black flower – act partly as a gate and partly as an aperture to the world behind them. How does the structure’s material composition and color interact with the overall impact of the piece? Why do you think Pei chose Nevelson to design a sculpture next to his building?

Building Number: 66

Accession Number: 1975.060