Versions of Louise Nevelson

Interviews with artists are often used as source material by art historians. But how reliable are those interviews? The provenance of them can be more complicated than it might appear at first. David Sylvester interviewed many artists, including Louise Nevelson. His interview with her in November 1963 was broadcast on the BBC, and a recording of that interview is held in the British Library’s archive.

The interview is most easily accessible in Sylvester’s book Interviews with American Artists, but the text printed there differs considerably from the broadcast interview. Not only was much of the broadcast cut from the … continue reading