In 1944, Nell joined the Jane Street Gallery. Together with painters Leland Bell and Al Kresch, she transformed the pioneering artist-run cooperative into a home for a small group of abstract painters who took their cues from Mondrian. In 1945, her painting Blue Pieces was included in The Women, an exhibition of abstract and surrealist work by thirty women at the Art of This Century gallery. Her first solo Jane Street show elicited a rave review in ARTnews. In 1947, Clement Greenberg lauded Nell’s work in a review in The Nation. The following year, an exhibition of paintings by Bonnard at the Museum of Modern Art began to sway her toward a more personal approach. During this period, she was intimate with many men and women, but the special woman in her life was a dancer, Midi Garth, who would prove a loyal friend throughout her life.
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