About Michele Nigrini | Art.co.za | Art in South Africa
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About The Artist

Artist Photo

Artist Biography

Michèle matriculated from Afrikaans Girls’ High School, Pretoria, in 1982, and went on to study Tourism at Pretoria Technicon and then Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria, where she was ultimately awarded an MA (Fine Arts) in 1993.

Michèle attracted nationwide interest in 1994 when the Rupert Art Foundation bought all of the available work on her first Solo Exhibition, including her Master’s degree installation ‘Kleursimfonie’, an extraordinary piece consisting of more than 300 A4 sized paintings.

Following this, Michèle was given the opportunity to travel with the panel for a year, exhibiting it and presenting lectures on colour to a wide variety of audiences. Once returned to the collection, the installation was put into storage until August 2015, when the panel was hung again at The Rupert Museum in Stellenbosch. It is currently being displayed together with the work of a number of acclaimed South African artists from what has been described as ‘the premier collection of contemporary South African art’.

Nigrini attracted nationwide interest in 1994 when Dr. Anton Rupert and the Rembrandt Art Collection bought all of the available work on her first solo exhibition, including her Master’s degree installation consisting of more than 400 A4 sized paintings. This once in a lifetime event launched her career as a professional artist.

Artist Statement

Michèle believes that art is a medium for the elevation of the spirit yet remains rooted in the experience of everyday life. The familiar images mirror certain human truths by capturing a gesture, an event, a mood, or an emotion. Honing in on the incidental mark, she merges the abstract into the figurative, where colour and line come together in a marriage of emotion - the image a metaphor for mood rather than just a representation.

Her aim is not to copy nature, but to interpret the essential character of things, submitting it to the spirit of the place. Her approach is based on visual sensations with colour as the most important element for optic and psychological impact.

Artist CV

Born 10 January 1965, Pretoria, South Africa


Matriculated 1982, Afrikaans Girls’ High School, Pretoria, South Africa

Qualifications: Certificate in Tourism, Technicon, Pretoria, South Africa

BA (Fine Arts), University of Pretoria, 1987

BA (Hons): History of Art, University of Pretoria 1992, MA (Fine Arts), University of Pretoria 1994

Career Highlights:

Michèle’s career to date has included:

  • 25 solo exhibitions, 200 group exhibitions, numerous Art Festivals;
  • Participation in international projects, including the Florence Biennial, Italy 2005, Chianciano Biennial, Italy 2009 and, by invitation, the London Biennial 2013;
  • Lectures and workshops of which the latest was in Lesvos, Greece (May 2017)
  • Commissions for corporate clients;
  • Documentary installations;
  • Audio and Visual stage productions
  • 2 Month residency at the Cite Internationale des Art in Paris - 1994 and 2017

Since 2004, Michèle has been living and working in Rosendal in the Eastern Free State, where her art is on permanent display at the Michèle Nigrini Studio & Gallery.


Collections include banks, corporates, museums, universities and private collections all over the world.

  • Absa Bank Art Collection
  • Infoplan Collection, Pretoria
  • Sasol Collection
  • TPA
  • Oliewenhuis Museum, Bloemfontein
  • Linmed Hospital
  • Pretoria Art Museum (acquired 2 works from different periods 1991 and 1998)
  • Rupert Family Trust for the Arts
  • Rupert Art Museum
  • Rembrandt Art Collection
  • University Orange Free State Collection
  • University of Pretoria Collection
  • Telkom
  • Ster Kinekor
  • VH+S Architects
  • Penta Publications
  • National Arts Association
  • Music for Africa Art Collection
  • War Museum, Bloemfontein
  • National and International private collections

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