Lea Nikel was born in 1918 in Zhitomir, Ukraine.
Lea is the grand-dame of Israeli painting. Lea has won the Sandberg Prize from the Israel Museum and the Israel Prize - the country's most prestigious honor. She has also won the Gamzu Prize from the Tel Aviv Museum and the Dizengoff Prize from the municipality of Tel Aviv. Lea was a brilliant abstract expressionist painter. Her works are in numerous museums including the Tate Gallery in London. Her lyrical works are marked by brilliant colors, great energy and a strong underlying structure. She has lived and worked in Paris (1950 - 61), New York (1960's and 1970's), Rome (1967 - 70), Central African Republic, and a number of cities in Israel. Lea Nikel died in 2005.