These two Hanging Column sculptures are parts of a room-sized work, Dawn's Wedding Feast that Nevelson created for MoMA’s 1959–60 exhibition 16 Americans. Each of its components represents an aspect of a wedding ceremony: four wall sculptures stand for chapels, smaller pieces for objects in a trousseau, vertical structures for the bride and groom, and these hanging structures for guests. The artist, who often professed an aversion to marriage, pieced together discarded wood, such as broken moldings and finials, and then painted the assemblages a uniform color. Her use of white—a departure from her usual black—underlines the nuptial theme. Although Nevelson wished for the ensemble to remain intact, its parts have entered various collections.
Gallery label from Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now, May 5–August 16, 2010.