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 Alexandra Nicholaevna Pregel  (1907 - 1984)

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Lived/Active: Russian Federation      Known for: painting

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
Still Life in the Artist's Studio
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
Biography from Shapiro Auctions LLC:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Alexandra Nicolaevna Pregel was born on December 15, 1907 in Helsinki, Finland. Her parents had relocated to Finland early on as political exiles from the Czar's government. With the Revolution in 1917, Pregel's family moved back to Russia where here father Nikolai Avksentev became Minister of the Interior in the Kerensky government. After the Bolsheviks took power, in 1919, Pregel left Russia for France with her mother Maria and her stepfather Mikhail Tseitlin. Tseitlin was a famous intellectual, author, and poet, and his home in Paris became a gathering place for the Russian intellectual elite in exile. Regular visitors to their house included Natalia Goncharova, Leon Bakst, Mikhail Larionov, Marevna and others.

Alexandra's friendship with Natalia Goncharova was particulary close. She had originally met Goncharova in 1912, and kept contact contact both as a student and friend to Goncharova throughout her life, until Goncharova's death in 1962. Pregel also studied painting at the Montparnasse studio of the Russian artists Vasily Shukhaev and Alexander Yakovlev beginning in 1921. During this time, many of the famous Montparnasse artists were also frequent visitors to the Tseitlin/Pregel household, including Diego Rivera, Amadeo Modigliani, Pablo Picasso, and Emile Antoine Bourdelle

Pregel exhibited in many important exhibitions in Paris throughout the 1930s, but after the Nazis occupied Paris, Pregel fled Paris with her husband Boris Pregel, a physicist working in the field of radioactive materials, to the United States. It is worth noting that Pregel and her husband left Paris in June 1940 on the very day that the German army occupied the city. Unfortunately, more than 300 hundred of Pregel's paintings and drawings were confiscated and lost to the German occupation.

In New York, Pregel and her husband settled in an apartment overlooking Central Park. She had her first U.S. exhibition in 1943 which was held at the New School for Social Research in New York. Pregel was accepted to the American National Association of Women Artists in 1944 and exhibited across the country in several notable exhibitions, including the 1948 "Painting in the United States" exhibition in Pittsburgh which featured works by Pregel along with artists like Georgia O'Keeffe and Salvador Dali. Later in her career in the U.S., Pregel's paintings were exhibited at annual exhibitions including at the Milch Gallery, Wildenstein Gallery, and National Academy of Design. Pregel also illustrated for influential Russian emigre publications like Novosel'e and Novyi Zhurnal, and for Jewish related projects such as a Passover Hagada that was published in Israel in 1965.

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