Nelly Drell
Figural painting Portrait Nature painting Still-life City views Abstract Drawings
Biography and CV

Nelly Drell is an Estonia artist. She was born October 19, 1979 in Tallinn.

As a child she was very interested in art and while studying in Pelgulinna Secondary School she participated in extracurricular activities at the Kullo Art Centre and Kevade Street Art School. After graduating high school she carried on studying painting in 1998-2000 at the Estonian Academy of Art. She studied at Miami University from 2000 to 2001 where she received her bachelor’s degree and from 2001 to 2003 at the New York Academy of Art where she gained a master’s degree in painting.

Drell’s creations catch the eye by being bold and realistic and having lots of figural compositions. She isn’t afraid of experimenting with different art styles. You can find from her paintings’ hyper-realistic city views, ethnic-romantic celebration and all other possible styles, from baroque to classic. The artist is just as diverse in the variation of her subjects. Among the works there are at the same time colourful sports events, dramatic scenes from history and vivid landscapes. Usage of art form and choice of motives are varying but primary attention remains focused on (harmonically depicted) people.

Drell has exhibited her paintings since 1995 at dozens of group and personal exhibitions. In 2001 she won the Miami International Fine Arts College Young Visual Artist Award and in 2008 the SMV-prize in the Estonian Artists Union’s annual exhibition.

From 2004 she has been a member of the Estonian Painters Union and member of Estonian Artists Association since 2012.

Nelly Drell

19.10.1979, Tallinn, Estonia

Member of Estonian Painters Union since 2004

Member of Estonian Artists Association since 2012


2001-2003 New York Academy of Art, New York, (USA) /painting, MA

2000-2001 International Fine Arts College, Miami, (USA) /painting, BA

1998-2000 Estonian Art Academy, Tallinn, (Estonia) /painting

1992-1996 Kevade Street Art School, Tallinn, (Estonia)

1987-1998 Pelgulinna Highschool, Tallinn, (Estonia)


2002 The Art Student League of New York, New York (USA) /painting

1991-1992 "Kullo", Tallinn (Estonia) /ceramics

Solo exhibitions:

2013 "Seasons of Pirita", Tallinn TV Tower, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2011 "Estonian celebritys", National Library of Estonia, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2011 "Hello", New York Estonian House, New York, (USA) 

2011 "Flash", Vaal gallery", Tallinn, (Estonia)

2009 "Estonian celebritys", Estonian Embassy in Budapest, (Hungary)

2009 "Leelo-Leelo", Vaal gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2006 "Rebirth", Viviann Napp gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2005 "Colors of the nature", Viru center, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2005 "Helpless", Haapsalu city gallery, Haapsalu, (Estonia)

2004 "An eye to an eye", G-gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)
2004 "Pressure", Draakon gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

Group exhibitions:

2016 "Peace", Galerie 12 Avenue Des Arts and Galerie La Verriere, Paris, (France)

2016 "Sea", Viinistu Art Museum (Estonia)

2015 "30x40 Duubel 2", Haus Gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2013 "Meister ja Margarita", Pärnu city gallery, Pärnu, (Estonia)

2016 "Kevadnäitus", Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn Art Hall Gallery and Tallinn City Gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2013 "Kevadnäitus", Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2013 "CDH-2013 - Process", Central House of Artists Moscow, Moscow, (Russia)

2010 "Confrontations", Tallinn Art Hall, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2009 "Maali sõna vol 2", Tartu Art Hall, Tartu, (Estonia)

2009 "Perceptions of Reality" Ico Callery, New York, (USA) 

2009 "Nudes in different style" Viljandi Art Hall, (Estonia)

2009 "The 2009 Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition" Agora Gallery, New York, (USA)

2009 "Unisex", TAM Gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2009 "Blueblackwhite in Estonian Art" Otepää, (Estonia)

2009 "House-Party", Haus Gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2009 "Self-Exposure", Art-Depoo Gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2009 "Self-portraits. Poses and Diagnoses", Kumu Art Museum, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2009 "New Motions Of The Figure" Ico Gallery, New York, (USA)

2008 "XL" Tartu art hall, Tartu, (Estonia)

2008 "Crossing the border" Art gallery of Narva museum, Narva, (Estonia)

2008 "Wakeup" Architecture and art centre in Roterdami salthouse, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2007 "Changing of body" ArtDepoo gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

2006 "Pure painting" Jõhvi concert hall, Jõhvi, (Estonia)

2005 "Selfportret" Tartu, (Estonia)

2005 "Identities'', Tallinn Art Hall", Tallinn, (Estonia)

2003 "New York Academy of Art graduating exhibition", Cast Hall, New York, (USA)

2002 "Between points A+B", Tribeca Hall, New York, (USA)

2001 "Unplugged", Jackie Hinchey-Sipes, D.A.S.H Gallery, Miami, (USA)

1998 Pelgulinna Highschool graduating exhibition, Kullo gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)

1996 Kevade street school graduating exhibition, Tallinn, (Estonia)

1995 Pelgulinna Highschool graduating exhibition, Kullo gallery, Tallinn, (Estonia)


2008 SMV prize in Estonian artist union year exhibition show, Tartu, (Estonia)

2001 Junior Visual Art Award, International Fine Arts College, Miami, (USA)