Female Figure #1
Nell Blaine (07/10/1922-11/14/1996) was born in Richmond, Virginia. At the age of sixteen she enrolled in the Richmond School of Art, which is now part of Virginia Commonwealth University. She moved to New York to study with Hans Hofmann from 1943-44. Blaine became a mentor to other students including Jane Freilicher and Larry Rivers. In 1944 she became the youngest member of the American Abstract Artists and a member of the Jane Street Group. Blaine had her first solo exhibition in 1945 at the Jane Street Gallery in New York, and that same year began experimenting with etching and engraving at Atelier 17. In 1950 she traveled to France and Italy, and opened a studio in Paris that had once belonged to Ezra Pound. While she was in Europe her work changed from abstraction to a more representational style including landscapes and still lifes. She is well-known for her use of brilliant colors. Blaine returned to New York City and studied at the New School for Social Research from 1952-53. Between 1951 and 1956, Blaine freelanced as a typographical designer. She took a painting trip to Mexico in 1957. Over the next three years she traveled to Turkey, Italy and Egypt, and worked in Greece. While in Greece she contracted polio and subsequently used a wheel chair. In 1965 she opened a studio in the West Indies, and in 1975 opened another studio in Gloucester. Between 1975 and 1996 Blaine had over fifty solo exhibitions. Her work is included in many corporate and public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC, and the Denver Art Museum in Colorado.