Nancy Lorenz is an abstract painter whose work incorporates techniques from traditional Asian craft, notably, lacquer. Lacquer, an East Asian technique, involves the methodical application of many layers of urushi (a natural tree sap) over a base, sometimes with the addition of metal leaf, mother-of-pearl, or pigments. Lorenz makes paintings that are essentially abstract, but resemble landscape scenes on sliding panels (in Japanese, shoji) or multi-paneled screens (byobu). She also constructs boxes, mirrors, and furniture in a related idiom. To realize these works, Lorenz does not use an orthodox lacquer application, but instead creatively adapts it, using traditional materials such as mother-of-pearl inlay and gold leaf in painterly gestures to create fine and decorative works of art.
Lorenz earned a BFA from the University of Michigan, a MFA from the Tyler School of Art and a John Simon Guggenheim Award in 1998. She lives and works in New York City.