Lea Nikel

1918 - 2005
Leah, who was born in Ukraine and had lived in Tel Aviv, Paris, Ashdod, New York, Rome, Jaffa and Moshav Kidron (where she also passed away in 2005) is defined by many as "the first lady of the Israeli painting". She is considered one of the most important painters in Israel, and had made a decisive contribution to instilling the abstract style in Israeli painting. Her qualities were identified not only by art researchers and curators but also by the general public. Lea Nikel was born in 1918 and began her in Tel Aviv when she was 2 years old. She began to study painting at an early age, but after her marriage and the birth of her daughter Ziva, she stopped painting for several years. The yearning for creativity and the courage which characterized Nikel led her to part from her husband, which was highly unacceptable in those days. This liberation led her to the studio of Avigdor Stematsky and Yehezkel Streichman, where she studied for two years and began to formulate the unique abstract style that characterized her paintings. She began showing eminent talent, and Nikel - in order to strengthen it - made another extraordinary decision regarding women in those years: to move to Paris, without Ziva who lived with her aunt during those years. Breaking of conventions and totality also characterized the style of Lea Nikel's paintings, especially after living in Paris (from 1950 to 1961) where she was significantly influenced by Expressionism and more specifically from a new style in those years that was called Tachisme (tache meaning stain in French - an abstraction without any object at all). By that time Nikel painted mainly figurative paintings (with great skill), but after her acquaintance with Tachisme a burst of creative energy and intense vision was unleashed, and her paintings at that time resembled "color serpents" as researcher and curator Dr. Gideon Ofrat defined them. She experimented with a variety of different techniques: finger painting, scribbling, etching, dripping, and more - she had freed her drives completely - despite of a brain hemorrhage that had hurt her sight badly. Lea Nikel achieved impressive success while living in Paris (and also after that time). She continued to move around the world, exhibiting her works in the most important of international galleries, seeing the abstract style though, and painting an accurate combination of joy and wonder. Although in the end, her paintings were mostly characterized by optimism that can naturally be attributed to a large part of Nikel's success in conquering many hearts. In 1995, Nikel even won the Israel Prize for Painting together with Menashe Kadishman. Lea Nikel died of cancer in 2005. Even in her last years, she often painted and did so completely free of inhibitions regardless of already earning worldwide respect and recognition. At the same time, Nikel set up a foundation with two goals: to manage her estate, and to contribute to the well-being of autistic children as well as children with cancer, hospitalized at Sheba Hospital.

Total counts: 312

Upcoming auctions

Lot : 347

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1999, Acrylic on paper laid down…

Estimated price:

$1,800 - $2,500

Lot : 113

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1991, Oil on canvas, 150X200 cm.…

Estimated price:

$20,000 - $30,000

Lot : 114

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1974, Oil on canvas, 123X127 cm.…

Estimated price:

$25,000 - $35,000

Lot : 132

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1960s, Oil on canvas, 35X27 cm.…

Estimated price:

$4,000 - $6,000

Lot : 133

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 2000, Acrylic on canvas, 100X100 cm.…

Estimated price:

$8,000 - $12,000

Lot : 134

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1979, Oil on canvas, 58X41 cm.…

Estimated price:

$6,000 - $9,000

Previous auctions

Lot : 343

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1966, Gouache and watercolor on paper,…

Sold for:

2800

Lot : 344

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1987, Watercolor on paper, 65X49 cm,…

Sold for:

1900

Lot : 345

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1987, Acrylic on paper, 64X50 cm,…

Sold for:

2000

Lot : 349

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1966, Watercolor on paper, 35X25 cm,…

Sold for:

1300

Lot : 128

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1958, Oil on canvas, 46X38 cm.…

Sold for:

15000

Lot : 129

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1950s, Oil on canvas, 33X24 cm.…

Sold for:

7000

Lot : 147

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1995, Acrylic on canvas, 150X135 cm.…

Sold for:

15000

Lot : 148

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1985, Acrylic on canvas, 168X198 cm.…

Sold for:

26000

Lot : 181

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1987, Acrylic on canvas, 73X38 cm.…

Sold for:

7500

Lot : 182

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1972, Oil on canvas, 130X97 cm.…

Sold for:

9500

Lot : 356

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1998, acrylic on paper,   75X55…

Sold for:

2800

Lot : 358

Lea Nikel
Untitled, Collage and oil on canvas pinned…

Estimated price:

$1,500 - $2,000

Lot : 108

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1999, Acrylic on canvas, 120X100 cm.…

Sold for:

16000

Lot : 109

Lea Nikel
Ariella, Chelsea Hotel, 1974, Oil on canvas,…

Sold for:

24000

Lot : 120

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1959, Oil on canvas, 61X38 cm.…

Sold for:

9000

Lot : 148

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1979, Acrylic and collage on canvas,…

Sold for:

9500

Lot : 149

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1987, Acrylic and collage on canvas,…

Sold for:

8500

Lot : 380

Lea Nikel
Untitled, Oil and collage on canvas laid…

Estimated price:

$2,000 - $3,000

Lot : 477

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1984, Mixed media on paper, 65X50…

Sold for:

1400

Lot : 116

Lea Nikel
Flowers, 1950's, Oil on canvas, 65X50 cm.…

Estimated price:

$12,000 - $16,000

Lot : 117

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1959-1961, Oil on canvas, 60X73 cm.…

Sold for:

22000

Lot : 133

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1988, Acrylic on canvas, 135X132 cm.…

Sold for:

14000

Lot : 134

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1994, Acrylic on canvas, 150X100 cm.…

Sold for:

17000

Lot : 150

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1960’s, Oil and collage on paper…

Sold for:

6000

Lot : 151

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1958, Oil on canvas, 33X41 cm.…

Sold for:

7500

Lot : 152

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1995, Acrylic and collage on canvas,…

Estimated price:

$10,000 - $15,000

Lot : 9

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 1980, ink on paper, 34x25 cm,…

Sold for:

280

Lot : 40

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 2 Lithographs framed together, Untitled, 40X60…

Sold for:

150

Lot : 348

Lea Nikel
Untitled, oil on paper laid down on…

Sold for:

1300

Lot : 349

Lea Nikel
Untitled, 2005, watercolor on paper, 30X41 cm.…

Sold for:

600

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