Juan Nicolás Melé
Juan Nicolás Melé (1923 – 2012) was an Argentine artist. At the age of 11 he began studying drawing and painting with Enrique Rodríguez. He began his education at the School of Fine Arts “Manuel Belgrano” (with his friends also artists Gregorio Vardanega and Tomás Maldonado) and then at the National School of Fine Arts “Prilidiano Pueyrredon”.
After finishing his studies, he comes in contact with the Arte Concreto Invencion association formed by Alfredo Hlito, Lidy Prati, Manuel Espinosa, Enio Iommi, the Lozza brothers, Tomás Maldonado, Alberto Molenberg, Claudio Girola, Jorge Souza, Antonio Caraduje, Oscar Nunez, Virgilio Villalba y Contreras, with whom he participates in the group’s third exhibition, in October 1946.
The French government gives him a scholarship, with which he attends L’École du Louvre between 1948 and 1949. He exhibits in Italy, where he comes into contact with the members of the Béton group in Milan. In Switzerland he comes in contact with Max Bill and, in Paris, with Michel Seuphor.
In 1950, back in Argentina, he continues to work in art as a teacher of History of the Arts at the National School of Fine Arts. In 1955 he is co-founder of the Arte Nuevo group, led by Aldo Pellegrini and Carmelo Arden-Quin and counting among its members Martha Boto, Simona Ertan, Eduardo Jonquieres and Gregorio Vardanega.
In 1974 he moved to New York where he worked and exhibited in the Gallery of Caïman (1978) and in the Arc Gallery (1983 – 1985). In 1981 he exhibited at the “Eduardo Sívori” Museum in Buenos Aires. In 1986, he returned to Argentina and a year later he organized an individual exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.
He received the Alberto J. Trabucco prize in 1997, awarded by the National Academy of Fine Arts. Edit a book with his memoirs, La avant-garde of ‘40. Memories of a concrete artist, published in 1999.
He died of on 2012, at eighty-eight years of age.