Pendant/ Louise Nevelson, 1987/ Courtesy of Didier Ltd

Didier Ltd presents Paint it Black: The Jewels of Louise Nevelson

Paint It Black is a curated exhibition of jewelry designed by the iconic American sculptor Louise Nevelson, renowned for her bold, monumental abstract assemblages made from scavenged wood or pieces cut with unconventional tools. These works were mostly painted in monochrome matte black, a color, for Nevelson, that “contained all color. It wasn’t a negation of color. It was an acceptance. Because black encompasses all colors.”

This love for black is refl ected in her jewelry, which she fi rst created for her own use to accompany her idiosyncratic way of dressing and her mink eyelashes. These unique jewels are sculptures in miniature, typically made from small scraps of wood or found objects like clothespins and piano keys, painted black and given gold or metal highlights. The jewels fall into three main groups: her personal pieces
from the 1960s, which appear in many photographs of her; pendants formed from crushed tin cans, fi shing fl oats, and beads she designed for the Opera Theatre of St. Louis’s production of Cristoph Willibald Gluck’s Orfeo and Euridice in 1984; and lastly a group of pendants and brooches made shortly before she died, which have never been exhibited.

Didier Ltd, established in 2006 by Didier and Martine Haspeslagh, is the only gallery that specializes in historic jewels by internationally recognized painters and sculptors, acquired from the secondary art market, all of which were conceived and produced in the lifetime of the artists. The gallery has been instrumental in increasing the general appreciation for this niche area of jewelry and art, where the boundaries between art and design, fashion and adornment are blurred.