Nevelson's life subject to possible documentary

Louise and Neith Nevelson pose for Art in America (1965) pictures by Ugo Mulas.

The life and times of the ever popular artist Neith Nevelson, granddaughter of the great sculptor Louise Nevelson, may be the subject of a possible film documentary, according to Carl Kesser, President and founder of Carl Kesser Productions, a film production company out of South Florida.

Only on the early stages of pre-production technicalities, Neith's life has always been shrouded in mystery and fable-making. From her life in Malibu, Beach, to her activism in Florence, Italy, to her life with her grandmother, the fact is that Neith's life is anything but common.

Never before published picture of Neith Nevelson (1965).

The documentary, which will be based on the private collection of an art-collector, will cover Neith's early life, her days working in the studio with her grandmother, her activism in Europe and her unexpected move to Miami, where she is still reside.

Her art, like much of her personal life, has been the subject of critique and often outright spite by many. Ironically, Neith Nevelson has fought the system and in many ways chosen to go her own way, often against a family that has chosen to be idolatrous of Louise's legacy as opposed to accepting Neith's as possible heir to the Nevelson name.

Much has been written about Neith, very little understood. The most insightful historiography that has ever been done was in a 1996 Miami Herald feature article of its long-defunct "Tropic" magazine and most recently, in Miami's New Times, 2004. Both attempted to focus on the personal, while choosing to ignore the artistic.

While many don't even want to give Neith Nevelson for creating a truly unique body of work, others simply continue to ignore her calling it "derivative." Of course, they're unable to explain why that is so, or unable to explain why most works of art are derivations of earlier forms of art, or, as the critic Allan Bloom would say, "the art of influence."

What many forget is that "the establishment" chose to ignore Louise Nevelson until later on in her adult life, and this was basically as a result of her wooden architectural elements assembled from found subjects. Similarly, while much has been written about Louise's art, most of what she created was influenced by Cubism and Surrealism, which seems to be, essentially, what most modern and contemporary art is a derivation from.

Neith's life is rich and enigmatic.

Her life of enduring poverty, is one which baffles many considering that her grandmother's estate was valued at over $100,000,000 upon her death in 1989. One thing is clear, this is not an easy family to live with, and one for which much has yet to be written.

Neith, still living and still producing amazing works of art, seems to be the one whom through much will be written about the Nevelson name.


Here's Neith... Nevelson!

Coconut Grove, located in South Florida, has never failed to attract a colorful group of celebrities, artists and intellectuals.

While of many of these come and go, some have remained longer than expected and, as it is with the artist Neith Nevelson. Her story, like the story of most of us, is a combination of failures and successes. It would be almost impossible to tell the story of Coconut Grove without telling the story of this unique human being; an artist that in the past has been both lauded, and then chided.

Neith Nevelson, born in 1946 in New York City, settled in Coconut Grove in the mid 1970's with one of her youngest daughters, Xochtle Nevelson. Almost immediately, Neith became part of what has made Coconut Grove a colorful place. Her paintings in the early to mid 1980's were commissioned by some of the most prestigious art-galleries in South Florida and worldwide. (Coincidentally, as it has been constantly been pointed out by others, Neith is the granddaughter of Louise Nevelson, an artist that merits no introduction.)

The fact that Neith was, is, also a very talented and well-known artist enriched the Grove as a place where culture and entertainment mingles and where Neith, once upon a time, was referred to by the locals as "the lady in the bike," in reference to Neith's way of selling her art work-- mostly hand-painted t-shirts she'd peddle on the streets from her bike. Curiously enough, these t-shirts are now much sought after by collectors of Neith's work. Unfortunately, of these only a few are known to exist.

Neith, in many ways, exemplifies the cultural changes and reinventions of two turbulent decades, the 1960s and the 1970s, decades that reached their experimental upswings in the more conservative 1980's.

But if these saw changes in the art world as well, good art transcends the fads of the transient and mass-produced, and into universal paradigms equally true for all times.

In a career over thirty years in the making, Neith Nevelson has focused her energies, her inner-will and professional standing in the art community by choosing to do what great artists have always done-- refuse to bow down to the banal.

In many ways, too, the true artist is also a rebel, often without a cause, sometimes with a cause, but always a in love with that daemonic, mysterious energy from whence his/her talent springs. In Neith's case, it is energy unrestrained.

It is art created from an unschooled talent, often raw, always beautiful; it is a combination of lines, colors and forms which often seem to loop upon itself with no rhythm or pattern, but which, on second look, the symmetry was already set from the very first splash of color.