|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2008)|
Nina Genke or Nina Genke-Meller, or Nina Henke-Meller, (Russian: Нина Генке-Меллер, Нина Генке, 1893–1954) was a Ukrainian-Russian avant-garde artist, (Suprematist), designer, graphic artist and scenographer.
Nina Genke was born in Moscow in 1893 to a Dutch father, Genrikh Genke, and a Russian mother, Nadezhda Tikhanova. She married the artist Vadym Meller (1884-1962). Nina Genke-Meller died in Kiev in 1954.
In 1912 she graduated from Levandovskaya Private Gymnasium in Kyiv. She received a title to teach Russian language and history. The following year she began teaching history, geography and drawing at the Higher Primary College for Women in Skoptsi. In Skoptsi, she met the artist Yevgenia Pribylska who headed the Art Studio in a Folk Center and became more inspired to become an artist herself. In 1914 Genke began attending Aleksandra Ekster’s studio in Kyiv for her art education, becoming an assistant in Ekster's studio from 1915 to 1917. At the same time, she worked as an artist in Skoptsi (Skoptsy) Village Folk Centre, supervised by Yevgeniya Pribilskaya and in the Verbovka Village Folk Centre, founded by N. Davidova.
Nina Genke was closely connected with the Supremus group that was led by Kazimir Malevich, the founder of Suprematism. From 1915 Genke worked as a head and a chief artist of the Verbovka Village Folk Centre (province in Kiev). She attracted famous avant-garde artists such as Kazimir Malevich, Nadezhda Udaltsova, Aleksandra Ekster, Ivan Kliun, Ivan Puni, Lyubov Popova, Olga Rozanova, Ksenia Boguslavskaya and others to the creative peasant artisans co-operative.
Shortly after the October Revolution of 1917, Nina Genke participated in decorating the streets of Kiev and Odessa for Revolution Festivities together with Aleksandra Ekster and Kliment Red'ko, and began to design grandiose shows and a book on graphic design. Genke was a chief artist of the Golfstream futuristic publishing house led by Ukrainian poet-Futurist, Mykhail Semenko. At the same time she worked as a graphic artist. From 1920-1924 she taught art in the All-Ukrainian State Center Studio. In 1924 moved to Moscow, working as a stage designer, designer for china ( mostly plates) and wallpaper manufacture. Genke also held a position of the Deputy Head of the Board on Fine Arts in Vserabis. In later life, Genke worked as an interior designer, a scenographer, and supervisor of decorative and applied arts institutions.
- Sergei Papeta, Nina Henke: From Folk Suprematism to Avant-gardism of Shows and Plays, pp. 48–66, Exhibition Catalogue, Avant-Garde Adventures, National Art Museum of Ukraine (NAMU), Kiev, Ukraine, 2004.
- Nina Genke: Avantgarde and Ukraine, p. 193, Exhibition Catalogue, Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany, 1993.
- Nina Genke: Ukrainian Avant-garde of 1910-1930s, Zagreb, Croatia, 1991.
- Dmytro Horbachov, ed., Ukrainian Avant-garde Art 1910-1930s, "Mystetstvo," Kiev, Ukraine, 1996.
- John E. Bowlt, ed., Crossroads: Modernism in Ukraine, Exhibition Catalogue, Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago, and The Ukrainian Museum, New York, 2006-2007.