Born in Russia, Lea Nikel was brought to Israel in 1920. From 1950-1961, she lived and worked in Paris. Whilst in Paris, she exhibited at a number of galleries and in a group exhibition at the Musée National d'Art Moderne. Her soujourn in Paris drew her toward CoBrA artists and Parisian tachism and closer to abstract expressionist art. After Paris, Nikel moved to New York and then to Rome before eventually returning to Israel in the early 1970s. Gideon Ofrat refers to Nikel's paintings as follows: "Nikel's work is unique in its spontaneous power of improvisation on canvas and in her skilful construction of 'mythologies' of sensual personal forms, all resting upon an explosively vivid range of color and a vital symphonic flow." (Gideon Ofrat One Hundred Years of Art in Israel, Canada, 1998, p. 174). Lea Nikel was the recipient of the prestigious Israel Prize in 1995.
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