Louise Nevelson, Night Presence IV, 1973
Before the commission for her eponymous plaza, Louise Nevelson donated to the city another steel work. Less architectural and with a clearer frontal orientation, it’s hardly her most ambitious work, and some of the forms – the dove, the squiggles – give it the look of a decoration for the United Nations delegates dining room. Nevelson, like Serra at the same time, was working with Cor-Ten steel, a recent innovation, and as she could not have foreseen, the steel rusts and the welds weather to such a degree that last year the work had to be dismantled. The Parks Department promises they’re working on it, but whether it’ll come back is anyone’s guess.
This sculpture originally stood at 60th and 5th, at the entrance to the Park, with Saint-Gaudens’s unparalled Sherman memorial standing in front of it. I do hope it returns to Park and 92nd; it’s certainly worth a few moments of your time on the way to the Jewish Museum.
Night Presence IV is located on the median of Park Avenue, at 92nd Street.