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Lea Nikel

Born: 1918, Zhitomir, Ukraine - Died: 2005, Moshav Kidron, Israel

Israel’s most brilliant abstract expressionist and perhaps greatest colorist, Nikel won the Sandberg, Dizengoff and Israel Prizes. She studied at the famous Studia of Streichman and Stematsky. By 1950 she had left her husband and decided to leave her young daughter with relatives and go to Paris, whose art scene served as the cultural tradition in painting that Israel didn’t have. By 1954, influenced by tachisme and art informel, she became a pure abstract painter and remained in Paris until 1961. After Paris Nikel lived in Ashdod, New York, Africa, Safed, Rome, Yafo, Tel Aviv, New York and Tel Aviv. In the late 70’s she returned from an extensive stay in New York and settled into Moshav Kidron near her daughter. Her abstract works always seem to have a structured-linear-mechanical component which is opposed by stains, smears and scratches. She is described as a painter who thinks with her heart and feels with her head. Her encounter with Zen meshed with her technique of “controlled spontaneity” and “logic of intuition.”

Untitled / Blue gouache on paper
Untitled / Gouache on paper
Untitled / Gouache on paper