"What I see about humanity makes me a pessimist. But in my work I’m an optimist. Look at humanity, look at what’s happening on this earth. I think anyone who takes the attitude that they can do something that will change the world is very naive. For instance, I’ve taught art. I’ll say to my students, “Well, what do you want?” “I want perfection,” they say. I say, “Well, who in the hell do you think you are that you can demand perfection?” It’s nonexistent anyway. Words like ruthless and sacrifice are kind of false judgments. You don’t do it that way. When you have labor pains, you don’t say, Could I have done it this way or that way? You go into labor. Those words belong to what we call three dimensions. I didn’t think like that. Living the way I did... see, I broke all the traditions. If I wanted a lover, I had a lover. I didn’t have to get married again. So I had courage to live as I understood it. I thought that art was more important than other things. I work for myself. It was only because I had so little confidence in the world that I wanted to build my own world, not the world, my world."
— Louise Nevelson, in Particular Passions: Talks with Women Who Shaped The World.