National Museum of Women in the Arts
Nelleke Nix
1939 - present
Photograph of Nelleke Nix, courtesy of the artist. (c) Nelleke Nix, 2004
Place of Birth:
American, Dutch
Phonetic Spelling:
NEHL-eh-kee nihks
Minority status:
White non-Hispanic
Work Type/Media:
Drawings and prints, Painting, Sculpture, Books and manuscripts, Multimedia (electronic, digital, video, film), Textiles and clothing
Artistic Role(s):
Printmaker, Sculptor, Book Artist, Fiber Artist, Illustrator, Mixed Media Artist , Painter, Video Artist
Artist's Statement:
My body of work deals with change and growth. I believe human beings do not change but everything else does. We humans are the cause of some changes; to these and to natural changes we adapt. Thus we are not changeable but adaptable.

I was born in the Netherlands just before World War II, a war initiated by intolerance, and witnessed my world turn to ruins. Sometimes it seems as if I am forever shoveling debris. My work reflects a chaos which is put in order with technique.

Here we are now, and in my artwork I am shoveling still. There are more tolerant people but only because there are more people. A huge section of the human population is still intolerant of differences. I am tolerant because, after 1945, society in the Netherlands was tolerant. When a child, I was shown in front of my eyes why intolerance has terrible consequences. Intolerance is shown in the manner in which animals are treated. Fear, superstition and hate of what is alive but different from us slowly make us eliminate a portion of the living world. Where there is lack of tolerance, only a strong adherence to the principles of rights in all cases can make a difference. But there should not be enforcement of these crucial rights. Enforcement makes us all intolerant of some aspect.

While creating art I treat the piece worked on as pre-existing but in the throws of change. I explore surface, color, depth, medium, technique and possibility. Subject matter often reflects rescue. I observe what is happening in the world, especially in the world of women, who I trust will in growing numbers participate in preserving what is now at risk.

Statement courtesy of Nelleke Nix

Other Occupation(s):
Writer, Publisher
Place(s) of Residence:
New York
Mercer Island
Where Trained/Schools:
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA (1972) École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, France (1957) Royal Academy of Fine Arts, The Hague, Netherlands (1953-1958)
Related Visual Artists:
student of Aart Van Dobbenburg student of Paul Citroen student of Rein Drayer inlfuenced by Karel Appel influenced by Anton Rooskens influenced by Lucebert
Fellowships, grants and awards:
Library Fellows Award, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC, USA (2000) Gold Medal (Best of Exhibtion), International Platform Association, Winnetka, IL, USA (1989) Jurors Award, Renton Annual Art Show, Renton, WA, USA (1983) Grant, National Endowment for the Arts, Washington, DC, USA (1979)
Earliest exhibition:
Art in Public Spaces, Cheney Cowles Memorial Museum, Spokane, WA, USA (1977)
NMWA exhibition(s):
Book as Art XII: Artists' Books from the Permanent Collection
Preserving the Past, Securing the Future: Donations of Art, 1987-1997
Book as Art XIV: Temptations
The Book as Art: Twenty Years of Artists' Books from the National Museum of Women in the Arts
The Book as Art
Book as Art V
Artists on the Road: Travel as Source of Inspiration
Artist retrospective(s):