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Lisa Nankivil

  • 20151016183842-grisaille__2015_2000_x_1191
  • 20151016184134-charcoal_2015_3480_x_3498
  • 20151016183948-more_or_less__2015_3960_x_3390
  • 20151016184409-rubicon__2015_3952_x_3494
  • 20151016184308-hemisphere__2015_3913_x_3496
  • 20151016185320-mind_s_eye__2015_3480_x_3510
  • 20151016185200-midnight_lake__2015_3912_x_3498
  • 20151016184242-velocity_2015_2000_x_1714
  • 20151016184452-to_distraction__2015_2000_x_1503
  • 20151016184054-mezzanine__2015_2000_x_1680
  • 20151016184831-clock_within__2015_1996_x_2000
  • 20151016184608-skylight_largest
  • 20151016184721-reservoir__2015_2000_x_1328
  • 20151016184345-in_lieu_of_silence_1200_x_959
  • 20151016185231-copperplate__2015_2000_x_1999
  • 20151016184808-blindsight__2015_2000_x_1714
  • 20151016184629-goldsmith__2015_600_x_505
  • 20151016183226-an_indulgence_1700_x_1415
  • 20151016185356-pastoral_riff__2015_1800_x_1770
  • 20151016184945-lotus_eaters
  • 20120125133500-orpheus-72dpi
  • 20120930142309-nankivil_-_immutable_dream_-_72dpi
  • 20110807081715-thegroundastonishedbythesky-100dpi
  • 20151016185110-taffy_apple__2013_1800_x_1800
  • 20110622164400-calibrations-72dpi-alt
  • 20121003022307-nankivil_-_immutable_dream_-_72dpi
  • Anima
  • 20110906064659-lisa_nankivil_-_flying_dreams_-_72dpi
  • Before_during_and_after
  • World_s_edge
  • Sleepwalker
  • Lisa_nankivil-autotroph-2010-oil_on_canvas-60_x_72_in
  • Untitled
  • Nightswimmer
  • God_s_eye2
  • Ln-famously_private-detail
  • Ln-famously_private
  • Loggia
  • After_h
  • Chamomile
  • Lightasnotes
  • Cirrus
  • Betty___veronica
  • With_open_hands
  • Ln-first_frost-adjusted
  • Streetside
  • Dryice
  • K
  • Afterjimihendrix
  • Ln-no_doubt-adjusted
  • Luck_and_a_clear_day
  • Tag
  • 20120207045600-virgin_and_satyr_webinvert_rdy
  • 20111010021415-2011_highpoint_1
  • 20140507125530-01__50314


Lives in

Works in


Minneapolis College of Art and Design, BFA

Representing galleries
Marlborough Gallery-New York, Thomas McCormick Gallery-Chicago, William Shearburn Gallery-St. Louis, Highpoint Editions-Minneapolis

abstract, Oil mixed-media drawing, abstraction, geometric-abstraction, paintings, abstract-expressionism painting mixed-media painting abstract


Artist Profile

Video Profile: Interview with Lisa Nankivil in her studio

Artist Bio

Contemporary American artist Lisa Nankivil has established a national reputation for her luminous, richly textured abstract paintings. Her most recent body of work is influenced by diverse sources in which light is of paramount concern. These include the chiarascuro of Venetian master painters,  as well as the gelatin silver prints of early black and white photographers. Nankivil has focused the same craft and intense inquiry into dividing sections of light that she employed in the carefully orchestrated bands of color of her last series of abstract stripe paintings. This distinctive style of painting relies on the intricate layering of subtle tints and shades through scumbling and transparent glazes. Surface texture and the illusion of deep space challenge the viewer's perceptions, inviting contemplation of the complex interplays of form, depth, and light.

Nankivil trained in studio art at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she earned a BFA degree in painting in 1995. Nankivil has served as a Mentor in MCAD's Graduate MFA Program and is an artist-member of the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art, a prominent artist cooperative located in downtown Minneapolis, where she maintains her principal painting studio and private press.

Nankivil is represented by Marlborough Gallery-New YorkMcCormick Gallery, Chicago; William Shearburn Gallery, St. Louis; and Highpoint Editions, Minneapolis. 

 On the paintings of Lisa Nankivil...

Grounded in the modernist tradition which sees pure color as a metaphor for the immaterial and the spiritual, Lisa Nankivil explores paint's ability to signify the essence of experience while leaving the representation of objects behind. In her stripe paintings Nankivil addresses the aesthetic problematic of the body's relationship to the horizontal and vertical. Her large horizontal compositions are soothing and inviting, as the basic verticality of the human body positions the viewer in a relation of dominance relative to their rippling expansive, recumbent forms.

Nankivil's vertical compositions confront the viewer with uplifting optical pathways that orient us toward ascent. Opaque and semi transparent ribbons of variegated color flicker and skip across the surfaces of Nankivil's canvases, flooding the senses with remarkably vivid associations and memories. These paintings communicate the idea of speed and movement; but more than anything they remind us of tastes, smells, and the feel of pleasurable things--orange toffee, rose petals, dark chocolate, pink wet skin, black velvet, blue sky bright with sun, melon, salty sea water and lavender gray dawn.

Patricia Briggs, Ph.D.

[Contributor to Artforum and New Art Examiner.]

Courtesy Patricia Briggs and Thomas McCormick Gallery.




Selections from the 2014 Minnesota Biennial, Lanesboro Arts Center, Lanesboro, Minn.

The Fine Print: Artwork from Highpoint Editions, McKnight Foundation, Cynthia Binger Boynton Gallery, Minneapolis

July Selections, Spanierman Modern, New York

2014 Minnesota Biennial, Minnesota Museum of American Art, St. Paul | Curated by Christina Chang, Brian Frink, and Meredith Lynn

June Selections, Spanierman Modern, New York

Lisa Nankivil: Metes & Bounds, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

Lists: An International Exhibit, Gallery 308, Minneapolis | Curated by Harriet Bart, Scott Helmes, and Eric Lorberer

From Beyond the Window, Univeristy of Minnesota, Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Minneapolis | Curated by Jil Evans and Howard Oransky


Art Miami 2013, Miami, Fla., McCormick Gallery (Chicago)

INK Miami Art Fair, Miami Beach, Fla., Marlborough Graphics (New York)

IFPDA Print Fair, Park Avenue Armory, New York, Marlborough Graphics (New York)

Highpoint Editions: Decade One, Boston University, Sherman Gallery, Boston

Cleveland Fine Print Fair, Cleveland Museum of Fine Art, Ohio, Marlborough Graphics (New York)

Multiplied 2013, Contemporary Art in Editions Fair, Christie's London, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)

Expo Chicago, Navy Pier, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

Summer Selections, Spanierman Modern, New York

Lisa Nankivil, Spanierman Modern, New York

Summer Selections, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

23rd Parkside National Small Print Exhibition, University of Wisconsin, Parkside Fine Arts Gallery, Kenosha | Curated by John Hitchcock

Curious Passions: The Diverse Inquiries of Traffic Zone Artists, Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Wayzata, Minn. 

Thirteen Contemporary Artists, Spanierman Modern, New York

Art by Choice, Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, Miss.

Highpoint PRINTS, Dunedin Fine Art Center, Dunedin, Fla.

Editions/Artists' Books Fair 2012 [Rescheduled from Nov. 2012], The Altman Building, New York, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)


INK Miami Art Fair, Suites of Dorchester, Miami Beach, Fla., Marlborough Graphics (New York) 

IFPDA Print Fair, Park Avenue Armory, New York, Marlborough Graphics (New York) 

Lisa Nankivil: Recent Works, Spanierman Modern, New York 

Cleveland Fine Print Fair, Corporate College, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)

Fresh Abstraction, The Art Center, Highland Park, Ill.

Summer Selections, Spanierman Modern, New York

Gallery Selections: Paintings from the 1950s to the Present, Spanierman Modern, New York

Baltimore Fair for Contemporary Prints & New Editions, Baltimore Museum of Art, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)

Minneapolis Print & Drawing Fair, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Marlborough Graphics (New York)

McNay Print Fair, McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas, Marlborough Graphics (New York)

Lisa Nankivil: New Monoprints, Traffic Zone Gallery, Minneapolis 

Fifteen Contemporary Artists, Spanierman Modern, New York


Editions/Artists' Books Fair 2011, X Initiative, New York, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)

IFPDA Print Fair, Park Avenue Armory, New York, Marlborough Graphics (New York)

Lisa Nankivil: Flying Dreams, McCormick Gallery, Chicago 

Highpoint EditionsDecade One, Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Lisa Nankivil: Lines of Inference, Spanierman Modern, New York

Art Chicago 2011, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

Minneapolis Print & Drawing Fair, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis) & Marlborough Graphics (New York)

Dallas Art Fair, William Shearburn Gallery (St. Louis)

New Prints 2010, Visual Arts Center, University of Texas at Austin; organized by IPCNY, New York

Time and Again, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

Gallery Selections, Spanierman Modern, New York


Art Miami 2010, Art Miami Pavilion, Miami, Fla., McCormick Gallery (Chicago)

INK Miami Art Fair, Miami Beach, Fla., Marlborough Graphics (New York)

Editions/Artists' Books Fair 2010, X Initiative, New York, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)

IFPDA Print Fair, Park Avenue Armory, New York, William Shearburn Gallery (St. Louis)

New Prints 2010/Autumn, International Print Center New York (IPCNY), New York; travels to Visual Arts Center, University of Texas at Austin (Jan-Mar 2011)

Thirty Years of Collecting:  A Recent Gift to the Museum, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Scottsdale, Ariz.

Art Chicago 2010, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

Baltimore Fair for Contemporary Prints & New Editions, Baltimore Museum of Art, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)

Sustainable Currents, Traffic Zone Gallery, Minneapolis


Red Dot Art Fair, Midtown Miami Complex, Miami, Fla., Myers Contemporary (Annapolis, Md.)

Famously Private: New Work by Lisa Nankivil, Traffic Zone Gallery, Minneapolis

Editions/Artists' Books Fair 2009, X Initiative, New York, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)

Dirty Dozen, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

Halpert Biennial '09, Turchin Center for Visual Arts, Boone, N.C.

Art Chicago 2009, McCormick Gallery, Chicago


Music & Art, Performance/concert series, Chelsea Art Museum, New York (11.19.08)

Editions/Artists' Books Fair 2008, The Tunnel, New York, Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)

Highpoint Editions: Recent Publications, Highpoint Center for Printmaking, Minneapolis

Group Dialogue, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, N.M.

Lisa Nankivil: World's Edge, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

Abstraction: Summer 2008, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

Art Chicago 2008, McCormick Gallery (Chicago) & Highpoint Editions (Minneapolis)


Out West: The Great American Landscape, Meridian International Center, Washington, D.C.; National Art Museum of China, Beijing; Gallery of Sinkiang Academy of Arts, Urumqi; Shanxi Art Museum, Xi'an; Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai; Qingdao Modern Art Center, Qingdao; Guangzhou Museum of Fine Arts, Guangzhou; Hong Kong Heritage Discovery Center, Hong Kong; Dana Gallery, Missoula, Mont.


Art Miami 2007, The Art Miami Pavilion, McCormick Gallery (Chicago)

Taizo Kuroda, Kumiko Namba, and Lisa Nankivil, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, N.M.

In the Zone, Traffic Zone Gallery, Minneapolis

Art Chicago 2007, McCormick Gallery, Chicago


Spirited Expressions, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, N.M.

Emergence, Traffic Zone Gallery, Minneapolis

Spring Forward, Gerald Peters Gallery, Santa Fe, N.M.

Art Chicago 2006, McCormick Gallery, Chicago


Lisa Nankivil: Betty & Veronica, McCormick Gallery, Chicago

Michael Gaughan / Kirk McCall / Abinadi Meza / Lisa Nankivil, Jerome Foundation Fellowship Exhibition, MCAD Gallery, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, Minneapolis

Art Chicago 2005, McCormick Gallery, Chicago



Exhibition curator, Bill Tresch: Drawings, Traffic Zone Gallery, Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art, Minneapolis


Year-long studio project exploring the technical challenges and creative opportunities of non-toxic printmaking, with major funding provided by a grant from the Minnesota Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.


Exhibition co-curator, X LIBRIS: The Re-Purposed Book, Traffic Zone Gallery , Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art, Minneapolis

Visiting artist, Highpoint Editions, Minneapolis


Visiting artist, Highpoint Editions, Minneapolis


Collaboration with Minnesota poet and writer Ken McCullough, who composed poetry inspired by my paintings. Painted the cover illustration for his book, Obsidian Point: A Triptych, Lone Oak Press, 2003.

Recent Exhibits

Lisa Nankivil participated in these exhibits:

Sep, 2015 EXPO CHICAGO with Thomas McCormick Gallery
Navy Pier’s Festival Hall
Navy Pier’s Festival Hall
May, 2014 Metes and Bounds
McCormick Gallery
Feb, 2014 From Beyond the Window
Katherine E. Nash Gallery, Minneapolis
Oct, 2012 Lisa Nankivil: Recent Works
Spanierman Modern
Aug, 2012 Fresh Abstraction – Selections from the McCormick Gallery
The Art Center - Highland Park
Click here to see all exhibits for Lisa Nankivil

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