Lisa Nankivil is a Minneapolis-based painter and printmaker best known for her richly textured stripe paintings. Drawing inspiration from the century-long tradition of American and European abstraction, Nankivil uses dynamic interplays of color, gesture, and expression to explore the ambiguity of pictorial space and reveal the subjective nature of perception.
According to art historian William Peterson, the striped format of Nankivil’s paintings evolved while she was concentrating on certain figure-ground relationships in her work. “I was searching for ways to make the background as essential as the image,” she says. “I began to explore qualities such as motion, ascendance, and hierarchy through painted stripes, and eventually the image fell away leaving me to navigate the implications of the vertical and the horizontal by painting only the orientations with stripes.” A phrase in the art writings of John Berger—“Home is where the vertical meets the horizontal”—helped her as she began to explore the physical, psychological, and spiritual dimensions of her discovery. “To me,” she says, “this phrase refers to a sense of spiritual well being: finding ground in which to prosper.”
Nankivil trained at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where she earned a BFA degree in painting. She is a founding member of the Traffic Zone Center for Visual Art, a prominent artist cooperative located in the historic Warehouse District of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Nankivil was awarded the prestigious Jerome Foundation Fellowship (New York & Minneapolis) in 2004. In 2008, Nankivil accepted an invitation to participate in the Visiting Artist Program at Highpoint Editions, Minneapolis, a nationally recognized collaborative press and fine print publisher, where she produced a series of editioned lithographs and screenprints.
Nankivil's paintings and prints are exhibited nationally and internationally and are found in numerous public and private collections.