Nissan Engel

 

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.

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