Elise Ansel was born and raised in New York City. Ansel received a BA in Comparative Literature from Brown University in 1984. While at Brown, she studied art at both Brown and the Rhode Island School of Design. She worked briefly in the film industry before deciding to make painting her first order medium. Ansel has exhibited her work throughout the United States and in Europe. Her works are held in the permanent collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences. She was represented by Danese/Corey in NYC until they closed in April 2020. She now works with Miles McEnery Gallery in New York City, David Klein Gallery in Detroit, Carol Corey Fine Art in Kent Connecticut, Ellsworth Gallery in Santa Fe, and Cadogan Contemporary in London.