Nina
Negri
(1909-1981)
Artist

Born in Argentina, Nina Negri’s passion for art led her to Europe where she travelled to France, Belgium and England exploring and studying the radical new styles of art that were redefining Western aesthetics and the fundamental concept of art. Settling in Paris, the epicentre of Modern Art, Negri attended the Académie André Lhote who was a prominent figure in the Cubist movement, and was responsible for expanding the application of its theories, and her early work is very much in this vain. She also spent time working in the studios of Fernand Léger and Marcel Gromaire.

 

During the 1930’s Negri became involved with Atelier 17, an avant-garde group based around Stanley William Hayter’s printmaking studio at 17 Rue Campagne-Première in Paris. It was a centre of innovation and attracted artist’s such as Marc Chagall, Max Ernst, Joan Miró, and Pablo Picasso, and Hayter’s emphasis on expressing the sub-concious also became a significant influence on Jackson Pollock. Negri was clearly inspired by the possibilities of abstraction and soon abandoned figuration altogether, adopting a flat semi-geometric style, reflecting the abstract printmaking of Atelier 17, often with a limited but vibrant palette. In 1936 she co-signed Karoly Sirato’s “Manifeste Dimensioniste” along with Kandinsky, Duchamp, Delaunay, and Ben Nicholson, which proposed a new understanding of time and space with reference to Einstein, Euclid and Monkowski. That year they exhibited together in the “Premiere Exposition Internationale du Dimensionisme”.

 

Negri had also begun exhibiting her work at the avant-garde salons, such as the Salon des Indépendants, the Salon de Mai, and the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles which championed post-war geometric abstraction. Establishing a reputation for herself, one of only a very few women artists to do so at the time, Negri went on to participate in many group shows internationally, including the “Atelier 17” exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1944; and solo shows such as at Galerie Il Milione, Milan, and the Circle and Square Gallery, New York.

 

The artist’s work is now in various public collections including the Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis.