I’ve always liked Louise Nevelson’s sculpture, and especially like the large wooden pieces where every element is painted black. You can spend a fair amount of time visually investigating each little section, and then step back and take in the big view of a large black form, such as this 1963 piece titled “Big Black” at MoMA, or this one, “Black Wall,” 1959, which is on view at the Tate.
So with this Nevelson reference in place, perhaps you’ll better understand my reaction when I drove by this abandoned gas station in Bloomfield, NJ. As you can see from the inset image, it used to be a white building with red trim, windows, and a red and yellow sign. Now that it’s been closed down, they boarded up the windows and painted everything black – even the still-installed air conditioner above what used to be the door. I’d say this gas station got the Louise Nevelson treatment … it’s kind of like an extra-large public art Nevelson, don’t you think?