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Nele was born in Berlin, the daughter of Marie-Louise (1908–1989) and Arnold Bode (1900–1977). She started her career in 1950 as a student of the Central School of Arts and Crafts in London. She participated in Documenta II, organised by her father in 1959. She joined the Situationist International, but was excluded in February 1962.
She learned to handle all sorts of metal and to weld steel for her artwork. After her return to Berlin she worked with the artist Hans Uhlmann during her time at the “Berliner Akademie” and later on at the “Studio Lacourière” in Paris. Since the late 1960s, Nele has lived and worked in Frankfurt. Since the early 1990s she has been teaching at the Universities of Frankfurt and Giessen.
Her best-known sculpture is named Die Rampe, a Holocaust memorial dated from 1980. Her latest metal sculpture at large scale is now located at the Dalbergplatz in Frankfurt-Höchst and named Windsbraut.
E. R. Nele was awarded with the Goetheplakette from the hands of the city's governing mayor Petra Roth on 12 September 2008 in the historic “Limpurgsaal”. The Goetheplakette is awarded annually since 1947. Other awarded persons have been to date Horst-Eberhard Richter, Albert Speer, Thomas Bayrle and others.
- A concise history of modern sculpture. Sir Herbert Edward Read. Praeger, 1964. Page 235
- St. Sara Pendergast, Tom Pendergast (2002). Contemporary Artists: A-K. St. James Press.
- Media related to E.R. Nele at Wikimedia Commons