Born 1931 in Haifa - Israel. Artist, innovator, technician, poet, musician - all of these terms are needed to describe Nissan Engel. In a prolific career spanning nearly four
decades, Engel has developed a unique form of expression - rich, complex, highly personal - that defies easy classification. An artist of international stature, he is perhaps best known
for his work in mixed media, in which he manipulates dispatate elements to create harmonious, lyrical compositions. His body of work reflects a continual evolution, a constant
seeking of new arenas in which to play out his ideas - painting, drawing, collage, printmaking. As he masters each new technique, he incorporates it into his work to achieve his ultimate
artistic goals: harmony and equilibrium.
Born is Israel in 1931, Engel graduated from the renowned Beaux-Arts Bezalel in Jerusalem and later recieved a diploma in theater design from the Centre dramatique de l'Est in Strasbourg, France. He moved to Paris in the mid-1950s, where he painted and also worked on a variety of stage designs and costume projects; he had the first of many successful painting exhibits starting in 1960 at the Galerie Weil. In 1965 he moved to New York City.
During his days in Paris and throughout his ten-year stay in the United States, Engel worked almost exclusively in the painting medium. The subjects of his early works - landscapes, still lifes, and equestrian figures often presented in horse racing and circus scenes - were rendered in a style that was predominantly figural and representationnal, reflecting his academic training. The paintings from this period are strongly graphic and characterized by a bold and direct use of color.
Engel's early influences include Picasso, Klee, Marini, Kandinsky, and other European expressionists, as well as the conceptual artists Oppenheim and Beuys. He also was influenced by the abstract expressionnists of the New York School, many of whom he knew and befriended while living in New York City.