Monochromatic Composition

AGOMakes From Home: Inspired by the AGO Collection

Louise Nevelson, Night Zag IV

Louise Nevelson, Night Zag IV

Louise Nevelson, Night Zag IV, 1965. Painted wood, mirrored glass, Plexiglas, Arborite, 235  63.5  213.4 cm. Purchase, 1968. © Art Gallery of Ontario. 67/30.

"I have always wanted to show the world that art is everywhere, except that it has to pass through a creative mind." – Louise Nevelson


What is monochromatic?

American artist Louise Nevelson is best known for her monochromatic – or single colour – sculptures that resemble imagined cityscapes. Working with accessible materials such as scraps of wood, glass, dismantled furniture and even ornaments, Nevelson would often paint her creations in one colour to emphasize shadow and light. She was particularly fond of black and once stated, "I fell in love with black; it contained all colour."


  • What does Night Zag IV remind you of? One might see a darkened apartment building, with people peeking outside their windows. Someone else might see a zig-zagged library shelf, filled with books.

  • Watch AGO Associate Curator of Studio Programs Tiana Roebuck make her own monochromatic masterpiece using objects she found at home. Make your own Nevelson-inspired cityscape using household items!

What can I use at home?

  • Find all the things in your home in your favourite colour, lay them out in a pleasing way, and take a photo of your composition to share with us at #AGOfromHome. Tell us about it too.

  • If you’ve got a colourful bookshelf, now is the time to break out all your books in your favourite colour and build your own masterpiece. Stack them by colour (think Jenga blocks), or re-shelf them all by colour!

Be the first to find out about AGO exhibitions and events, get the behind-the-scenes scoop and book tickets before it’s too late.
You can unsubscribe at any time.