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.


Jeffrey said...

I love Neith Nevelson for her loving, compassionate soul and vivid imagination brought to the world.

Jeff Shore

Diana said...

I never heard about this lady and now im in love of her and her art,her life has being so tragic but full of color at the same time,I want to be honor to have one of her painting with me,but Im so far from Miami, I really need help with this I truly want to own just one but a colorful paint from this WONDERFUL ARTIST.

Anonymous said...

Louise Nevelson has a grandaughter living in Miami alone and in a lot of pai, A woman in Miami is taking advantage of Louise Nevelson grand daughter Neith Nevelson also a painter. A woman in Miami is buying her paintings for $30 - $100.00 dollars selling them online for thousands of dollars and not giving her a cent. She is buying her paintings and selling them for profit online and not providing her with the medical attention she needs. Please Help her How could anyone be so cruel and insensitive.

Anonymous said...

That has been going on for decades. This is nothing new. Neith used to be called T-Shirt Lady because she used to handpaint t-shirts and then sell them on the streets for $20. People have been buying off her paintings for as little as $50 and then selling them for huge profits without giving her a commission. Some people think this is Neith's fault since she has always refused help from anyone. Some people also say that she has a really bad drug habit. Not sure what the truth is, but I can tell you that if she wanted she could hire an agent to represent her in a major gallery and reap off the profits herself.

Yes, she is Louise Nevelson's granddaughter, and the only one family member who has inherited Louise's talent... however misplaced that talent may be.

Anonymous said...

She is not the only one who inherited Louise's talent. Another inherited but refused to use it because of the ugliness of the art world and the grief that is always given to people with the name Nevelson.

Anonymous said...

I saw Neith Nevelson on television not long ago. It was partly her life story. It was on Telemundo Caso Cerrado. There is no doubt that Neith is very talented, genius like I might add. However, physically she seems to be very, very ill. She looked like something from a medieval story, one of the witches from Macbeth. I felt very bad for her. When I lived in Coconut Grove 15 years ago I bought a painting from her for $30.00 which is still displayed in my living room in my Connecticut home.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, who might other family member be.

Isnt Neith also married to Robert McKnight, a sculptor of some renown also living in Miami.

Anonymous said...