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Nell Blaine

Interiors and Flowers

paintings and watercolors, 1961 to 1990

March 20 – April 24, 2021

Nell Blaine
Nell Blaine Daisies, 1961

Nell Blaine
Daisies, 1961
oil on canvas
25 x 16 inches
(63.5 x 40.6 cm)
(Inv. No. 9247)

Nell Blaine Anemones on White Cloth, 1967

Nell Blaine
Anemones on White Cloth, 1967
oil on canvas
28 x 22 inches
(71.1 x 55.9 cm)
(Inv. No. 9248)

Nell Blaine Summer Bouquet and Chair, 1963

Nell Blaine
Summer Bouquet and Chair, 1963
oil on canvas
24 x 20 1/4 inches
(61 x 51.4 cm)
signed and dated lower right
(Inv. No. 7395)

Nell Blaine
Nell Blaine Spring Flowers in Yellow Pot, 1972

Nell Blaine
Spring Flowers in Yellow Pot, 1972
oil on canvas
18  x 14 inches
(45.7 x 35.6 cm)
(Inv. No. 9217)

Nell Blaine Small Zinnias & India Cloth, 1973

Nell Blaine
Small Zinnias & India Cloth, 1973
oil on canvas
17 x 19 inches
(43.2 x 48.3 cm)
(Inv. No. 9239)

Nell Blaine Red Flowers, 1964

Nell Blaine
Red Flowers, 1964
oil on canvas
21.73 x 14.88 inches
(55.2 x 37.8 cm)
(Inv. No. 004051)

Nell Blaine Yellow Chairs, 1975

Nell Blaine
Yellow Chairs, 1975
oil on canvas
24 x 18 inches
(61 x 45.7 cm)
signed lower right recto
(Inv. No. 8275)

Nell Blaine
Nell Blaine Red Candles and Four Bouquets, 1978

Nell Blaine
Red Candles and Four Bouquets, 1978
oil on canvas
26 x 30  inches
(66 x 76.2 cm)
(Inv. No. 9087)

Nell Blaine Autobiography, c. 1980

Nell Blaine
Autobiography, c. 1980
oil on canvas
32 x 26 inches
(81.3 x 66 cm)
(Inv. No. 9242)

Nell Blaine Dahlias in Carafe, 1981

Nell Blaine
Dahlias in Carafe, 1981
oil on canvas
28 x 16 inches
(71.1 x 40.6 cm)
signed recto
(Inv. No. 9011)

Nell Blaine
Nell Blaine Day and Night Lilies, 1980

Nell Blaine
Day and Night Lilies, 1980
oil on canvas
18 x 22 inches
(45.7 x 55.9 cm)
(Inv. No. 9246)

Nell Blaine Yellow Table with Flowers, 1974

Nell Blaine
Yellow Table with Flowers, 1974
oil on canvas
18 x 22 inches
(45.7 x 55.9 cm)
(Inv. No. 9130)

Nell Blaine Picotee, 1989

Nell Blaine
Picotee, 1989
oil on canvas
24 x 22 inches
(60.96 x 55.88 cm)
(Inv. No. 004064)

Nell Blaine Blue Cloth, 1980

Nell Blaine
Blue Cloth, 1980
oil on canvas
26 x 22 inches
(66 x 55.9 cm)
(Inv. No. 004066)

Nell Blaine
Nell Blaine Monkey Flowers, Astersand Violas, 1986

Nell Blaine
Monkey Flowers, Astersand Violas, 1986
watercolor on paper
16 x 12 inches
(40.6 x 30.5 cm)
(Inv. No. 8236)

Nell Blaine Bouquet with Astilbe, 1987

Nell Blaine
Bouquet with Astilbe, 1987
Watercolor and charcoal on paper
16 x 12 inches
(40.6 x 30.5 cm)
(Inv. No. 8237)

Nell Blaine July Gardens, 1990

Nell Blaine
July Gardens, 1990
watercolor on paper
18 x 24 inches
(45.7 x 61 cm)
(Inv. No. 8238)

Nell Blaine
Nell Blaine

Press Release

Tibor de Nagy Gallery is pleased to present Nell BlaineInteriors and Flowers, 1961 – 1990, an exhibition of paintings and watercolors.


By the early 1960s, Nell Blaine’s best known painting subjects were her table top still lifes and flowers. These complex and colorful paintings were the culmination of her decades of practice and experimentation and became her signature style. A typical interior painting depicted a room with chairs, table, flowers, sketches tacked on the wall, an open book, in front of a window, opening onto a landscape or harbor view that act as a painting within a painting. This geometric structure allowed her to hold together a diversity of irregular shapes; once she created a grid, the flowers enabled a free play of an active painterly brushwork. Blaine initially established herself as an abstract painter, but she gradually returned to representational painting through the decade of the 1950s. Of this fusion of approaches she said, "I was always trying to find the natural and honest way, looking to be more direct and clearer, with less artifice. However, I never really left abstraction; the sense of organization and the way of putting a picture together come from the abstract days. I can approach nature with confidence because of that."


This body of work is especially notable since all the works in the exhibition were made in the decades after she recovered from polio which she had contracted in 1959 while traveling in Greece. After becoming seriously ill on the island of Mykonos, she returned to the US and spent months in an iron lung and then years recuperating to regain mobility in her legs and arms. She could no longer lift her right arm to paint on an easel, so she had to learn how to paint using her left hand and work from a wheelchair. After surgery, she still could work in watercolor with her right hand because it could be done on a lateral surface. Blaine, always the life of the party, had a wide circle of friends who helped her through that time. The condition, more importantly, never lessened her passion for painting, and she continued to paint and travel as vigorously as she had before

 

Nell Blaine arrived in New York City in 1942 to study with Hans Hofmann. Her first gallery exhibition was at the Jane Street Gallery in 1945, the first serious artist cooperative dedicated to Modern Art. It was there that she showed and won early acclaim for her hard-edged abstract paintings. She began showing at Tibor de Nagy Gallery in 1953 and collaborated with Kenneth Koch in one of the gallery’s first poet/artist editioned projects. She became an influential member of the second-generation New York School. She has long been associated with a group of representational painters including Larry Rivers, Jane Freilicher, Louisa Matthiasdottir, Leland Bell, Al Kresch, and Robert de Niro, Sr.


Nell Blaine has been the subject of over seventy-five museum and gallery exhibitions throughout the United States. She was recently included in the group exhibition (Nothing But) Flowers at Karma, New York. Her work is in the public collections of many museums including, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and the Museum of Modern Art. A monograph, Nell Blaine, her art and life, was published in 1998 with an essay by the artist’s friend, art critic Martica Sawin.