Richmond, 1922 - 1996

Nell Blaine

The highly regarded gestural colorist Nell Blaine bridged the delicacy of intimate interiors with the viscosity of Abstract Expressionism for most of the latter half of 20th century. After studying with Hans Hoffman, Blaine would become the youngest member inducted into the American Abstract Artists group in 1944, celebrated for her hard edge abstractions. Eventually, Blaine was drawn towards the representational and soon melded a unique style of bold AbEx brushwork with a rhythmic stippling harkening to Bonnard and Matisse. From this point forward her fluent aqueous brushstrokes retained the salient aspects of nature, whether rendered in ink, watercolor or oil. A table setting or a floral arrangement became a symphony of fluid calligraphic lines, each stroke serving the integrity of the scene depicted.

Nell Blaine was born in Richmond,...

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Biography

The highly regarded gestural colorist Nell Blaine bridged the delicacy of intimate interiors with the viscosity of Abstract Expressionism for most of the latter half of 20th century. After studying with Hans Hoffman, Blaine would become the youngest member inducted into the American Abstract Artists group in 1944, celebrated for her hard edge abstractions. Eventually, Blaine was drawn towards the representational and soon melded a unique style of bold AbEx brushwork with a rhythmic stippling harkening to Bonnard and Matisse. From this point forward her fluent aqueous brushstrokes retained the salient aspects of nature, whether rendered in ink, watercolor or oil. A table setting or a floral arrangement became a symphony of fluid calligraphic lines, each stroke serving the integrity of the scene depicted.

Nell Blaine was born in Richmond, Virginia 1922. She immersed herself in an important artistic community and developed her early aesthetic whilst studying at the Hans Hoffman School. She moved to New York in 1942. In the 1950s Blaine emerged as an integral member of the Second Generation of New York School painters, including such figures are Larry Rivers, Jane Freilicher and Fairfield Porter.

For the span of her artistic career, Nell Blaine’s work received a tremendous amount of attention, starting as early as 1945, with her first solo exhibition at the Jane Street Gallery. Since then Blaine has had over sixty solo shows. Her works have been the subject of numerous gallery and museum exhibitions across the country and are included in many noteworthy private and public collections such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Artworks

1

Merry-Go Round, 1955

Related Categories

20th Century Art / Abstract and Figurative / Abstract Expressionism / Abstract Painting / Abstraction / American Abstract Expressionism / American Art / Art after World War II / Art of the 1950s / Art of the 1960s / Bold Composition / Canvas / Color and Form / Contemporary American Art / Ink / Oil on Canvas / Oil Paint / Oil Painting / Painting / Post-War American Art / Rough and Brave Brushstrokes / Still Life / United States / Watercolor / Women Artists

Curriculum Vitae

Education

  • 1953

    New School for Social Research

  • 1945

    Etching and engraving at Atelier 17 with Stanley William Hayter

  • 1944

    Studied with Hans Hofmann in New York (1942-1944)

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2017

    "Nell Blaine," Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA

  • 2016

    Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY; also, 2012, 2007, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and 1998

  • 2003

    “Nell Blaine: Abstract Paintings and Works on Paper,” Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago, IL

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    "Painters of the East End," Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2016

    "Still (ed) Life," Texas Gallery, Huston, TX

  • 2014

    "Garden Party," Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY

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Curriculum Vitae

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Education

  • 1953

    New School for Social Research

  • 1945

    Etching and engraving at Atelier 17 with Stanley William Hayter

  • 1944

    Studied with Hans Hofmann in New York (1942-1944)

  • 1942

    Studied at Richmond School of Art (R.P.I) now Virginia Commonwealth University (1939-1942)

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2017

    "Nell Blaine," Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA

  • 2016

    Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY; also, 2012, 2007, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, and 1998

  • 2003

    “Nell Blaine: Abstract Paintings and Works on Paper,” Valerie Carberry Gallery, Chicago, IL

  • “Nell Blaine/ Theresa Pollak,” Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2019

    "Painters of the East End," Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2016

    "Still (ed) Life," Texas Gallery, Huston, TX

  • 2014

    "Garden Party," Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY

  • 2013

    "Interior: Curated by Barry Rosen," Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2011

    "Tibor de Nagy Gallery Painters & Poets," Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, NY

  • 2010

    "American Still Life: Treasures from the Parrish Art Museum," Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY

  • 2009

    “Watercurrents – Water”. The Painting Center, New York, NY

  • “Fra Unuhusi til Attunda straetis (From Unuhus to Eighth Street)”. Reykjavik Art Museum, Iceland

  • 2008

    “Works on Paper”, Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA

  • “Painting in the Park”, Lori Bookstein Fine Art, New York

  • 2007

    “A Woman’s Eye: Selected Works by 20th Century American Women Artists,” The Lighthouse Center for the Arts, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

  • 2006

    “Natural Selection, Landscape Print Portfolio from Center Street Studio,” Joel and Linda Harnett Print Study Center, University of Richmond Museums, Richmond, VA

  • 2004

    “Women Artists of the Twentieth Century”, Anne Gary Powell Art Gallery Collection, Sweet Briar College, VA

  • 2003

    “Working from Nature”, Marymount College, Fordham University, Tarrytown, NY

  • 2002

    The Stamp of Impulse: Abstract Expressionist Prints,” traveling from the Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts, to the Cleveland Museum of Art, OH; Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX, the Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, New York, and the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Nothwestern University, Evanston, IL (2001-2002)

  • 2000

    “Reconfiguring the New York School,” Center for Figurative Painting, New York, NY

Grants/Awards

  • 1996

    Received Lee Krasner Award from Pollock-Krasner Foundation

  • Leslie Cheek Award for Outstanding Presentation in the Arts from the College of William and Mary

  • 1990

    Louise Nevelson Award in Art, American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, New York

  • 1987

    “First Alumni Award,” Virginia Commonwealth University

  • 1986

    Honor Award for Achievement in the Visual Arts, Women’s Caucus for Art, Annual conference, New York

  • Benjamin Altman Landscape Prize, 161st Annual Exhibition, National Academy of Design, New York

  • 1985

    Academician, National Academy of Design, New York

  • Honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond

  • 1982

    Academician-Elect, National Academy of Design, New York

  • Emil and Dines Carlsen Award for Best Still Life, National Academy of Design, New York

Collections

  • Art Museum of Western Virginia, Roanoke, VA

  • Art Students League, New York

  • Asheville Art Museum, Asheville, NC

  • Berkeley Art Museum, University of California, Berkeley, CA

  • Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY

  • Cape Ann Historical Association, Gloucester, MA

  • Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

  • College Art Gallery, State University of New York at New Paltz

  • Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

  • Currier Gallery of Art, Manchester, NH