Alyse Emdur

Alyse Emdur is an interdisciplinary artist. Her drawings, paintings, videos, and photography based projects use earnest humor to face loneliness, existential crisis, social struggle and the desire to escape. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Artforum, Art in America, Modern Painters, Cabinet Magazine, Huffington Post, the Atlantic, BBC News, Wired Magazine, Vrij Nederland Magazine, Art Papers Magazine, and Foam Magazine. Emdur is a graduate of the Cooper Union and holds an MFA from the University of Southern California.


2019 #4 (Part of the Summer Never Dies), Grant Wahlquist Gallery, Portland, Maine
Twenty-One Collections, Library Foundation of Los Angeles, Los Angeles
Central Library, LA, CA,
Curated by Todd Lerew
Blinky the Friendly Hen 40th Anniversary Exhibition, California State
University, Northridge
Curated by Jeffrey Vallance
Incarceration Nation, Reflect Space, Glendale Central Library
Curated by Ara Oshagan

2018 Incognito, Institute of Contemporary Art LA, CA
The Art Den, Odd Ark LA, CA
Dog Days, Rogers Office, LA, CA
Skunks and Flowers, Odd Ark LA (solo)

2017 Carceral States, Maier Museum of Art at Randolph College Lynchburg, VA Grand Opening, Artists Loft Museum Los Angeles Curated by Michael Parker

2016 Prison Obscura, The Newspace Center for Photography, Portland, OR
Curated by Pete Brook
Sports Bar, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, Colorado
Curated by Sasha Archibald

2015 Geyser Girls: A Waiting Room at Crystal Geyser, High Desert Test Sites,
Green River, Utah, Curated by Aurora Tang and Andrea Zittel
Mystery Theater Sports Bar with Cabinet Magazine, Machine Projects,
Los Angeles, CA, Curated by Sasha Archibald
Prison Obscura, Rutgers University, NJ; Parsons School of Design, NY;
University of Michigan, MI; Evergreen State College, WA
Curated by Pete Brook
Inside/Outside: Prison Narratives, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art,
Chaffey College, CA
Curated by Rebecca Trawick and Misty Burruel
Magic Mountain, Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara, CA
Curated by Brooke Kellaway
Site Unseen, Los Angeles Valley College, CA
Curated by Sheila Pinkel

2014 Talk to Me, Homeboy Industries and The Music Center, Los Angeles Curated by Rosten Woo Taking the Waters, High Desert Test Sites, CSU Desert Studies Program, Zzyzx, CA, Curated by Aurora Tang Another Cats Show, 356 Mission, LA, CA Curated by Laura Owens and Ooga Booga 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 Willowbrook Is… (with Rosten Woo), Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA Curated by Leonardo Bravo the Chroma Show, Indiranagar, Bangalore, India Curated by Marialaura Ghidini and Tara Kelton Prison Obscura, Haverford College, Haverford, PA and the Clark Humanities Museum at Scripps College, Claremont, CA Curated by Pete Brook Voices of Incarceration, Loyola Marymount University, LA, CA Curated by Carolyn Peter

2013 Of the Ordinary, Visual Studies Workshop, Rochester, NY
Curated by Christopher Gianunzio
No Bingo for Felons
Arcadia University, Glenside, PA
Curated by Julian Hoeber and Alix Lambert
Geographies of Detention
California Museum of Photography, Riverside, CA
Curated by Catherine Gudis & Molly McGarry

2012 Khamsa-izm, Gallery Diet, Miami, FL
Curated by Nicolas Lobo
Of the Ordinary, Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, Philadelphia, PA
Curated by Christopher Gianunzio
Cruel and Unusual, Noorderlicht Gallery, Groningen Netherlands, Melkweg
Gallery, Amsterdam, and Photoville Festival, Brooklyn
Curated by Pete Brook & Hester Keisjer

2011 Aesthetic Justice, Lambent Foundation, New York, NY Curated by Niels Van Tomme

2010 Fade In, University of Texas Visual Arts Center, Austin, TX
Curated by Lucky Dragons
2010 MFA Catalog Exhibition, University of Southern California LA, CA
Curated by Anne Ellegood
USA/MFA, Bezalel University, Tel Aviv, Israel
When I Get Out of Here, USC MFA Roski Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (solo)
Weird Miami, Bas Fisher Invitational, Miami, FL
Curated by Agatha Wara
Something Small, Little Tokyo Market Place, Los Angeles, CA (solo)

2009 Reader, Kunststichting Artis, Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands
Curated by Kenneth Mroczek

2008 Cha Cha, Twenty Twenty Projects, Miami, FL
Curated by Scott Murray
Shelf Life, Twenty Twenty Projects, Miami, FL
Curated by Scott Murray
Vault, Collins Building, Miami, FL
Curated by Nick Lobo, Jay Hines, Daniel Newman, Tom Scicluna

2007 Land of Promise, La Montagne Gallery, Boston, MA
Curated by Emily Isenberg
Talk to the Natures, Gallery Today, Brussels, Belgium
Curated by Kenneth Mroczek
Abstract Things, Laura Bartlett Gallery, London, England
Curated by Harrell Fletcher
Selected Shorts, Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Portland, OR
Curated by Harrell Fletcher

2006 What We Love, D.O.S., Anacortes, WA
Curated by Alyse Emdur
Mother Nature Loves Us, D.O.S., Anacortes, WA (solo)
Some Translations, In Situ, Paris, France
Curated by Harrell Fletcher
National Psyche, the LAB, San Francisco, CA
Curated by Elliot Lessing

2005 No Apology for Breathing, Jack the Pelican, NY, NY
Curated by Matthew Lusk
Bliss Building, The Cooper Union, New York, NY (solo)

2004 Tall Paul, Guild and Greyshkul, NY, NY
Curated by Harrell Fletcher

2013 Prison Landscapes, Four Corners Books, London,
Publication Date: January 2013
Willowbrook is… By Rosten Woo with Photographs by Alyse Emdur,
Los Angeles County Arts Commission,
Publication Date: December 2013


2017 Emdur Alyse and Woo Rosten, Art To Us, the City of West Hollywood

2015 Vecten, Laurence. One Year for USA 2016

2014 Brook, Pete. Prison Obscura Catalog, Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery, Haverford

2013 Emdur, Alyse. Prison Landscapes, Verities: Volume 3 The Class Issue
Emdur, Alyse. Half Letter Handbills: Alyse Emdur, Half Letter Press

2012 Gianunzio, Christopher. Of the Ordinary Poster, Philadelphia Photo Arts
Mallouk, Elyse. The Eagle, Bull, Bear Catalog, Little Paper Planes
Brook, P. & Keisjer, H. Cruel and Unusual: Prison Photography on the Road,
Catalog/ Newspaper, Noorderlicht Gallery

2011 Van Tomme, Niels. Aesthetic Justice Catalog,
Provisions Learning Project and the Lambent Foundation
Emdur, Alyse. How-To Write How-To and Self-Help Books,
e-flux Journal #22 Idiot Wind: An Introduction
Emdur, A & Parker, M. How to Build a California Dreamin Solar Oven,
Self-published, Los Angeles, CA

2010 Ellegood, Anne. Differential of Eight 2010 MFA Catalog,
University of Southern California
Emdur, Alyse. When I Get Out of Here, MFA Thesis,
University of Southern California
Earle, David. April 16th, Open Daybook, Mark Batty Publisher

2009 Beattie, C. & Emdur, A. & Lohmann, S. What We Are Learning,
Publication Studio, Portland, OR

2007 Fletcher, H. & July, M. Make a List of Things You At First Disliked But Later
Learned to Love, Learning to Love You More, Prestel


2014 We Love Lloyd, Modern Animals, the Hyperion Tavern

2013 Weatherwoman, Between Document and Fiction, Wisconsin University Film
Committee curated by Jose Carlos Teixeira

2012 How to See Auras, Cinemarfa, Marfa, TX, curated by Trinie Dalton

2011 Something Small, Out the Window, Freewaves, LA, CA
Weatherwoman, Between Document and Fiction, Passos Manuel, Portugal

2010 Beginning Animal Communication, The End, Miami, FL
Something Small, USC Open Studios, LA, CA

2009 Waterfalls, Be Brave, USC Open Studios, LA, CA

2008 Tales for Tails, Co-Existence, Be Brave, We Try, Moab Video Project,
Channel: MAC21, Curated by Christy Gast
The Gentle Revolution, What the Heck Fest, Anacortes, WA

2007 Show and Tell, Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria, B.C., Canada
We Love Lloyd, Spacibar, Oslo, Norway
Round Robin, What the Heck Fest, Anacortes, WA
We Love Lloyd, Video as Urban Condition, Linz, Austria

2006 Oranges, Meet Me at the Citrus Fair, Wolfsonian Museum, Miami, FL
Show and Tell, What the Heck Fest, Anacortes, WA
We Love Lloyd, Small A Projects, Portland, OR


2018 Heart of Los Angeles, Public Art Teaching Residency, Home Sweet Street

2016 The City of West Hollywood, Arts and Cultural Affairs Social Practice

2012-2013 Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Public Safety
Los Angeles Police Department Scientific Investigation Division Technology


2019 New Exhibit and podcast asks what’s worthy of collecting, KCRW’s Press Play
with Madeleine Brand, Produced by the Kitchen Sisters, Jan. 02, 2019

2018 Gluck, Marissa. At L.A. Public Library, the compulsion to collect is explored in ’21
Collections, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 13, 2018
Episode 7: What Artists Listen To Podcast, Produced by Pia Pack, May 2018
Nestor, Hatty. PRISON LANDSCAPES: An excerpt from Hatty Nestor’s
forthcoming book on portraits of the incarcerated,, April
Episode 3: Ansel Adams and Escapist Prison Landscapes. BBC Civilizations
Podcast, March 15, 2018
Whiteford. Meg, Critics’ Pick- Skunks and Flowers,, February
Miranda, Carolina. Datebook, Los Angeles Times, January 18, 2018

2017 Stromberg, Matt. Facing Eviction, Artists Host an Eviction Parade in Los Angeles,
Hyperallergic, September 6, 2017
LA Artists Launch Arts Space to Fight Displacement,, September
11, 2017
Miranda, Carolina. Rent Hikes and Evictions – is this the last stand for artists in
the Arts District?, Los Angeles Times, 2017
Stromberg, Matt. In Los Angeles, Artists Open a Museum to Resist
Displacement, Hyperallergic, September 6, 2017
Wagley, Catherine. At the Artists’ Loft Museum, Longtime Arts District Residents
Are Refusing to Be Erased, LA Weekly

2016 Graves, Jen. Prison Obscura Is a Glimpse at the Most Enormous American
Underground That Has Ever Existed, the Stranger, March 1, 2016

2014 Miranda, Carolina. Gut Wrenching Photo Evidence from Brown vs. Plata in
Prison Obscura, Los Angeles Times, September 8, 2014
Kate Brown, T. & Semler, A. Picture This: Prison Escapes: A Collection of
Portraits from Behind Bars, BBC News, January 30, 2014
Brooks, Katherine. Yearbook-Style Portraits Of Prisoners Show A Different Side
Of Incarceration, Huffington Post, February 28, 2014
Barnes, Sara. Painted Prison Backdrops Offer a Temporary Escape from Prison,, February 28, 2014
Strandquist, Mark. Prison Portraits Set Against Idyllic Backdrops Offer
Temporary Escape, Feature Shoot, February 13, 2014
Heidenry, Rachel. Prison Obscura at Haverford’s Cantor Fitzgerald Gallery,, February 12, 2014

2013 Griffin, Jonathan. Confinement, Foregrounded: Portraits from Prison,
Los Angeles Review of Books, June 5, 2013
Bowkett, Emma. On my Mind, Foam Magazine, June 2013
Blaustein, Jonathan. This week in Photography Books,
A Photo Editor, March 29,2013
Dolnick, Sam. In Prison, Landscapes to Free the Mind, New York Times
Metropolitan Section, Sunday, January 27, 2013, pg 7
Dolnick, Sam. Up Against the Wall: Prison Snapshots,
New York Times Lens Blog, January 26, 2013
Brook, Pete. Paradise Backdrops Turn Prison Walls Into Fantasy Escapes,
Wired Magazine Raw File , February 21, 2013
Heinlein, Sabine. Alyse Emdur: Fantasy Behind Bars, Art in America Magazine,
February 19, 2013
Manaugh, G. & Twilley, N. Captive America: An Interview with Alyse Emdur,
The Atlantic, January 25, 2013
Tewksbury, Drew. Prison Landscapes and the Interior World of the Incarcerated,
KCET ArtBound, January 29, 2013

2012 Lo Galbo, Carolina. Gevangenenportretten Tussen Droom En Dader,
Vrij Nederland Magazine, 18 Februari 2012, pg 42-49
Sinclair, Mark. Prison Landscapes, Creative Review Blog, 21 November 2012,
Auerbach, Lisa Anne. Inspiration! With Alyse Emdur!,
Art 21: Blog, March 21, 2012
100 Artists to Watch, Modern Painters, February 2012
Hu, Caitlin. Postcards From Prison: Photo Studio, Happiness, Prison,
COLORS Magazine Blog, February 28, 2012
“4/15/12” Fresh Air with Robby Herbst. K-Chung Radio. 4/15/12. Radio.
Brook, Pete. PPOTR Dispatch #10: Prison Visiting Room Portraits, An Interview
with Alyse Emdur, Prison, January 3, 2012

2011 Van Tomme, Niels. Prison Landscapes: The Archive Confronts a Cultural Taboo
Alyse Emdur in conversation with Niels Van Tomme, Art Papers Magazine,
September 2011, pg 18-23
Symons, Stéphane. Aesthetic Justice, Le Magazine/ Jeu de,
30 Mai 2011
Mallouk, Elyse. How to Survive, Art

2010 Artist Project/ Prison Landscapes, Cabinet Magazine,
Spring 2010, Issue 37 Bubbles, pg 66-71
Schmiedel, Aaron. Knastidyll? Eine Sammlung von Alyse Emdur,

2008 Cook, Greg. Alyse Emdur, The New England Journal of Aesthetic Research,
Sunday July 27, 2008
Schechter, Asha. August 31, 2007, I Heart

2006 Schechter, Asha. Art as Anti-Depressant, Jane Magazine, September Issue

2005 Hope, Jack. The Future, Nest Magazine, Issue 26


2017 Pomona College, Tour of the ALMLA, Los Angeles, CA

2016 UCLA, Department of Painting and Drawing, Los Angeles, CA
Pomona College Department of Art and Art History, Claremont, CA

2015 Chaffey College, Department of Art, Rancho Cucamonga, CA
Pomona College Department of Art and Art History, Claremont, CA

2014 University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
Pomona College Department of Art and Art History, Claremont, CA

2013 Clockshop, Los Angeles, CA
The Last Bookstore, Los Angeles, CA
California Museum of Photography, University of California Riverside, CA
Pomona College Department of Art and Art History, Claremont, CA
University of Southern California Photography Department, Los Angeles, CA

2011- 2012 Art Center College of Design Fine Art Department, Pasadena, CA
Aesthetic Justice Seminar hosted by the Provisions Learning Library, NY, NY
University of Southern California Photography Department, Los Angeles, CA
Pomona College Department of Art and Art History, Claremont, CA
Scripps College Art Department, Pomona, CA


2010 Masters of Fine Art, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
2005 Bachelors of Fine Art, The Cooper Union, New York, NY


2015 CCF Fellowship for Visual Artists Grant
2010 Printed Matter Award for Artists
2009 Fotokem Film Grant
2008 Full Tuition Scholarship, the University of Southern California, MFA
2005 Harrell Fletcher’s Earthling Award
2001 Full Tuition Scholarship, the Cooper Union, BFA


2018- Present Lecturer, School of Art, California State University, Long Beach Art 181, Foundation Drawing
Present Lecturer, Chaffey College at Chino Institution for Women, Chino, CA Photo 1, History of Photography,
2017-2018 Lecturer, Chaffey College Photo 1, History of Photography
2016 Lecturer, Art History Department, California State University,Long Beach, 19th Century Photography