b.1919 – d.1980
One of the preeminent collage artists in Chicago, Nickle’s sumptuous abstractions were constructed of weathered bits of paper and cardboard he found on the street. Each of the small pieces took years to make, the artists waiting for precisely the correct element to add to a specific spot. Associated with the New Bauhaus for years, Nickle’s work has its affinities with Kurt Schwitters and Alberto Burri, but his sensibility is wholly personal, as is reflected in his elaborate and unusual manner of framing. The works all have a little window on the verso with a photo of the artist on the day he finished the collage, a literal portal onto the visage of the maker.
Robert Nickle’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, David and Alfred Smart Museum, Chicago, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Carnegie Instiute, and the National Museum in D.C.