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Alive StillNell Blaine, American Painter$
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Cathy Curtis

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190908812

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190908812.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 February 2021

Alive Still

Alive Still

(p.189) 12 Alive Still
Alive Still

Cathy Curtis

Oxford University Press

Nell’s fiftieth solo exhibition opened at the Fischbach Gallery in 1991. Her late-life projects ranged from illustrating a book of poetry by the late Marge Piercy to calling the governor of Virginia in an effort to stay the execution of a convicted rapist and murderer. During the 1990s, Nell’s health problems included eye disease and breast cancer as well as postpolio syndrome. The increasing curvature in her back tired her and made sitting at an easel painful. But she carried on anyway, often painting flower still lifes. This chapter briefly discusses her style with reference to flower paintings by other twentieth-century artists, including Mondrian, Hartley, Bonnard, Monet, Ellsworth Kelly, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Her last Gloucester painting, Rock Shadows (1995), hints at closure while embodying a sense of the continuous rhythms of life. Nell died on November 14, 1996. The following January, artist and writer friends gathered at her memorial.

Keywords:   Fischbach Gallery, illustrating, still lifes, flower, postpolio syndrome, cancer, memorial

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