Born and raised behind the iron curtain and growing up in Western Germany, Elisabeth Ajtay is a conceptual artist using photography as her primary tool of expression. Her works reflect and question western culture with themes related to communication, advertising, and the psychological impacts of technological changes. Her multi-facetted practice is a reflection on her translation from growing up in, and, constantly moving between two different systems.

She received a diploma in communications design from the University of Applied Sciences and Art (FH Dortmund) in Dortmund and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her formal education was preceded by studies in dance, baiting, drawing and photography in Budapest, Hungary, with Tamás Kopasz and other artists.

Her work can be found in numerous private collections. She has exhibited throughout Europe and in the US, including inSPIRACJE and Art Moves Festival in Poland, Goethe Institutes in Morocco, Prague, New York and France. Museum shows include the MKK -Museum for Art and Cultural History Dortmund, Germany and Blue Star Contemporary in San Antonio, Texas. She has exhibited with Alter Space and Savernack Street in San Francisco, CA. The Ministry of Education and Training of Northrhine-Westphalia is working with her series “Zuhause/At Home” for educational purposes, encouraging discussions about the notion of belonging and nationality. Most recently she was awarded an artist in residence at BANFF Center for Arts and Culture in Canada and the Vermont Studio Center. She lives and works in New York City and Cologne.

CV FORTHCOMING
2020 Solo Show, Ginnungagap (Yawning Void), Soho Photo Gallery, New York NY

  SOLO EXHIBITIONS
2020 Dialog (Dialogue), Don Soker Contemporary Art, San Francisco CA
2018 Variations, Don Soker Contemporary Art, San Francisco
2016 Penumbral States, (peephole gallery) Alter Space, San Francisco CA
moonABC, Savernack Street Gallery, San Francisco CA
2014 babel, 9th WC installation, Ramon‘s Tailor, San Francisco CA
2013 Exported Dreams, Imported Desires, Ramon’s Tailor, San Francisco CA
2012 Ginnungagap/Yawning Void, Still Lights Gallery, San Francisco CA
2011 Analogue Memories, Union Gewerbehof, Dortmund DE
The Scent of the West, curated by Simone Czech, Galerie 143, Dortmund DE

  GROUP EXHIBITIONS
2​020 Reconstruct, prideART Gallery, Berlin, GER
100 Years Bauhaus, Ruth’s Table, curated by Hanna Regev, San Francisco CA
2019 ​Off the Grid, curated by Rex Bruce, LACDA, Los Angeles CA
2017 Inner Nature8 Bay Area Photographers, curated by Jessica Snow, Gallery 1317, San Francisco CA
  28 Day Cycle, curated by Pamela Belknap & Ingrid Wells, Studio 110 Projects, Sausalito CA
2016 Elisabeth Ajtay, Brad Woodville & shesaidred, curated by Ann Jastrab, RAYKO Photo Center, San Francisco CA
Instant, Refusalon Gallery, San Francisco CA
The Sea Has No Boundaries, Stories of Travellers and Dreamers, Venice Vending Machine, curated by Marina Moreno, Hamburg, DE
2015 Transmissions, Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum, San Antonio TX
2014 Small Works, curated by Mary Negro, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn NY
Bay Area Now 7, B.A.A.W.A. Bay Area Art Workers Alliance, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco CA
More or less Freedom? Art Moves, The Festival of Art on Billboards, Torun PL
Times Square, Billboard Display, see.me, New York NY
if…, curated by Cléa Massiani, Google Headquarters, Mountain View CA
M.A.C.H.I.N.E. (Master of Arts Collective in Higher Idea Navigation and Exploration), Gallery West, University Texas at Arlington, Arlington TX
Global Mission of Art – Reversality, project curated by Farhad Bahram, Geroges Hattab, Kevin Nazar
Postal Collage Project N°3, curated and initiated by Marty McCutcheon
◦ The Shuman Block, Berkeley CA
◦ Ramon‘s Tailor, San Francisco CA
Group Study, curated by Shmulik Krampf, Cléa Massiani, Refusalon, San Francisco CA
Art by Telephone…, Recalled, curated by Sébastien Pluot and Fabien Vallos, Art Center of La Panacée, Montpellier, FR
Juried Exhibition 2014, curated by Diana L. Daniels, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel CA
2013 Me, Myself & I, curated by David Hilliard, RAYKO, San Francisco CA
Small Works, curated by Mary Negro, Trestle Gallery, Brooklyn NY
Currency, Final MFA show, The Mint, San Francisco CA
Sledgehammer Constitution, curated by Christina Elliott, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco CA
Merkle Dir Was, 15 Jahre Galerie Merkle, curated by Verena Zeiner, Galerie Merkle, Stuttgart, DE
Art by Telephone… Recalled, curated by Sébastien Pluot and Fabien Vallos, Centre National Édition Art et Images-CNEAI, Chatou, FR
2012 Art by Telephone… Recalled, curated by Sébastien Pluot and Fabien Vallos, CAPC Musée d’Art
Contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, FR
Rob The Noisebank, THE LAB, San Francisco CA
Then and Now : Photography at the San Francisco Art Institute, 1945-2013, curated by Toni Gentilli,
Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco CA
Not Kansas, Photographers Explore Their Own Worlds,curated by Ann Jastrab, RayKo, San Francisco CA
2011 BAN6 Slide Slam, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco CA
2010 Moving Bikes, collaboration with Katrin Keller, RWE Ruhrtal-Rad Weg, Arnsberg DE
Zuhause/At Home, Bibliothek Scharnhorst, Dortmund DE
4. F/STOP Leipzig, Photo Festival, Leipzig DE
2009 inSPIRACJE, 5th Festival for Visual Arts curated by Krzysztof Ked Olszewski, Szeczin, PL
raum-fluss-vektoren/space-flow-vectors, photographic installation,
KVWL-Kassenärztlicher Verband Westfalen-Lippe, Dortmund DE
The Christmas Photo Album, curated by Tina Schelhorn, Gallery, Moscow, RU

  HONORS AND AWARDS
2019 VSC Merit Grant, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT
Honorable Mention, Category: Fine Art/Abstract, International Photography Awards
Honorable Mention, Category: Fine Art/Conceptual, International Photography Awards
Merit Grant, BANFF Centre for Arts and Creativity, BANFF, CAN
2017 Belfast Photo Festival 2017 Open Submission, shortlisted for Quo Vadis, Belfast, IRL
2015 2015/16 Prequalified Artist Pool, San Francisco Arts Commission, San Francisco CA
Semi Finalist, Immigration / Emigration Residency, Santa Fe Art Institute, Santa Fe NM
2014 4th ArtSlant Showcase Winner, juried by Joanna Szupinska-Myers, Sebastian Campos and Anca Rujoiu
2013 7th ArtSlant Juried Winner, juried by Maria Jenson, Bea de Souza, Daniela Kostova
5th ArtSlant Juried Winner, juried by Neysa Page-Lieberman, Darren Jones, Deb Klowden Mann
1st place, Paul Sack Building Award in Black & White Photography
2011-
2013
Scholarship of Merit, SFAI, San Francisco CA
2012 Honorable Mention, Paul Sack Building Award, San Francisco CA
Honorable Mention, PX3-Prix de la Photographie Paris, Paris FR
2009 Semi Finalist, Photofestival Groningen, Groningen NL
2005 Material grant, Kodak, Köln DE
2002 3rd place-Skin Aesthetics and Fascination, 2. Hamburger Triennale der Photographie, Hamburg DE

  RESIDENCIES
2019 Winter Residency, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson VT
2019 Independent Residency, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Banff, Canada
2016 3rd Street Studios Program, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco CA

  PUBLICATIONS (excerpt)
2020 Body is Language, Beyond Words, Literary Magazine, Berlin, GER
2017 “Interdependent Independence” and “Floating” and a little bit of History, by Ann Jastrab at www.all-about-photo.com (2017.03.17)
2015 Goddard, Dan R., Everyday Life Connects The Dots In New Blue Star Exhibits, San Antonio Current,
June 17, 2015
Global Mission of Art – Reversality, book publication
2014 M.A.C.H.I.N.E. (Master of Arts Collective in Higher Idea Navigation and Exploration), exhibition catalogue,
University Texas at Arlington TX
Colloquy, in conversation with Cléa Massiani, published by San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco CA
Juried Exhibition 2014, exhibition catalogue, Center for Photographic Art, Carmel CA
2013 Currency, exhibition catalogue, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco CA
2012 Sehstücke, Kunstwerke für die KVWL, KVWL, Dortmund, DE
  MFA NOW 2012 Archive Project, catalogue, Root Division, San Francisco CA
2010 Amtsblatt des Ministeriums für Schule und Weiterbildung 10/2010, Schule Nordrhein-Westfalen, Ministerium für Schule und Weiterbildung, Düsseldorf, DE
  Kultur Elektrisiert, book, RWE Aktiengesellschaft Essen, Katrin Osbelt-KO2B, Klartext-Verlag, Essen, DE
  VoRWEggehen und den Ruhrtalradweg zur Open-Air Galerie machen, catalogue, RWE Deutschland AG, Essen, DE
2009 inSPIRACJE/space, exhibition catalogue, inSPIRACJE, Szeczin, PL
2008 Camera Austria International N° 103/104, Graz, A
2006 Nah und Fern N° 32/Bilder in unseren Köpfen, cultural magazine for Migration and Participation, Prof. Dr. Birgit Rommelspacher, von Loeper Literaturverlag, Karlsruhe, DE
2005 7. Internationale Fototage Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, exhibition catalogue, Mannheim, DE
2002 Reality-check, 2. Hamburger Triennale der Photografie, catalogue, Hamburg, DE

  LECTURES, INTERVIEWS, ARTIST TALKS
2018 Visiting artist, CCSF, Adult Education, led by Lorna Stevens
Artist Talk, Don Soker Contemporary Art, San Francisco CA
2017 Interview with art historian Louis Vargas in San Francisco, CA, published on the Artscene Podcast (2017.03.02)
2012 Ginnungagap/Yawning Void, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco CA
2010 Zeit.Räume – Über Migration, Bibliothek Scharnhorst, Dortmund, DE
2009 Interview with Danko Rabrenovic for Balkanizer, Funkhaus Europa, Köln, DE
2007 Hanging Around, Casa Matei, Cluj, RO

  TEACHING
2017-
2018
Public Education Faculty (Spring/Summer) , San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco CA
Teaching Artist, RAYKO Photo Center, San Francisco, CA
2013-
2014
Teaching Artist, Young Interns Program, Meridian Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2013 Teaching Assistant to Paul Klein – Friending Art with Benefits, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco CA
2012 Teaching Assistant to Jack Fulton – Introduction to Digital Photography, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco CA
2009-
2011
Immaculate, workshops developed in collaboration with Petra Linden, Youth program manager, Witten, DE
2001-
2003
Teaching Assistant to Jörg Winde, – div. photography classes, University of Applied Sciences and Art,
Dortmund DE