Elena Dorfman

Elena Dorfman
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Elena Dorfman thumbnail
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Elena Dorfman is a Los Angeles-based visual artist working in photography, video, and tapestry. Her practice includes physical manipulations which aim to highlight the ephemeral and transitory nature of the environment through complex digital and analog processes. Her work has endeavored to record the laborious excavation of events—both natural and human— over time.

Dorfman’s work has been exhibited throughout the US and Europe, including the Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy, and collected by numerous public and private museums, including the MoMA, New York, NY, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA.

b. Boston, MA 1965
Lives and works in Los Angeles, CA

1987 University of Vienna, Austria
1988 Bachelor of Arts, Sarah Lawrence College

Canadian Center for Architecture, Montreal, Canada; “A New Society” (group)
Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA; Repro Japan: Technologies of Japanese Popular Culture from the 1700s to Today (group, June-Dec)


“OVR” Miami Beach, Fred Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL (group)
Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX, “Keeper of the Hearth: Roland Barthes Unseen Photograph (group)
Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, CA, “Created in Place” (online, group)
Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO, “High Stakes” (online, group)

Fondazione Prada, Milan, Italy, “Surrogati: Un Amore Ideale” (two-person)
Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, CA, “Still Lovers & Transmutations”

Denver Art Museum, Denver, CO, “New Territory: Landscape Photography Today” (group)
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, LA, CA, S ublime: LA River (group)
Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami, FL, “Still Crazy”, Valbona 1 (group)
Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO, “Transmutations”
Art in Embassies, Dakar, Senegal, “Empire Falling”

Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, CA, “The Origin of the New World”
The Berrie Center Art Gallery, Ramapo College, NJ, “Forms & Effects: Ukiyo-e to Anime” (group)
Mills College Art Museum, Mills College, Oakland, CA, “Syria’s Lost Generation”

Pier 24, San Francisco, CA, “Collected” (group)
Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, CA “Sublime: the LA River”
Newcomb Art Museum, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, “Syria’s Lost Generation”

Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO, “Sublime: The LA River”
Alice F. & Harris K. Weston Art Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, “Sublime: the LA River”
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH, “Unknown Elements” (group)
LACMA, Los Angeles, CA, Artist’s Respond , S ublime 1 from the “LA River” series
Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA “Personalities: Fantasy & Identity in Photography and New Media” (group)
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC, “The Lost Generation: Portraits from the Middle East”

Robischon Gallery, Denver, CO “Empire Falling”

Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, CA “Desire” (group)
Steven Kasher Gallery, New York, NY, “Alchemical” (group)
21c Museum, Bentonville, AK, “Hybridity: The New Frontier” (group)
Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, CA “Empire Falling”

Centro di Cultura Contemporanea Strozzina, Florence, Italy, “Manipulated Reality”
SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA, “Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera since 1870” (group)
Triennale di Milano, Milan, Italy, “Still Lovers” (group)
MoMA, New York, NY, “The 1%” multi-panel video installation for “Small Scale/Big Change”
Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, CA, “The Pleasure Park”, photographs and multi-channel video installation
U.S. Embassy, Stockholm, Sweden, “Transparency and Transformations in Contemporary Art” (group)
21c Museum, Louisville, KY, “The Pleasure Park,” photographs and multi-channel video installation 2009

Camera Obscura Galeria de Arte, Madrid, Spain, “Fandomania” photographs and video animation
JRB Gallery, Oklahoma City, OK, “Fandomania”

Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, NY, “Fandomania”, photographs and video installation

Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, MA, “Still Lovers”
Martha Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL, “Still Lovers”
Andrea Meislin Gallery, New York, NY, “Oh, You Beautifulful Doll” (group)
21c Museum, Louisville, KY, “Inaugural Exhibition”

Trierenberg AG, Linz, Austria, “New Art, New York: Reflections on the Human Condition” (group)
Belfast Exposed, Belfast, Ireland, “Still Lovers”
The Royal Pavilion, Libraries and Museums, Brighton & Hove, Brighton, England, “Guys and Dolls”
Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, NY, “Still Lovers”

SFMOMA, San Francisco, CA, “Recent Acquisitions” (group)
New York Arts Magazine Gallery, New York, NY “AC” (group)

Modernism Gallery, San Francisco, CA, “Valley of the Dolls” (group)
Camerawork, San Francisco, CA, “Exploring Intimacy” (group) MONOGRAPHS
Empire Falling, text by Kevin Moore, Diamani, Bolonia, Italy (2013)
Fandomania: Characters & Cosplay, text by Carlo McCormick, Aperture, New York, NY (2007)
Still Lovers, text by Elisabeth Alexandre, Channel Photographics, New York, NY (2005)
Des Poupees et des hommes , text by Elisabeth Alexandre, La Musardine, Paris, France (2005)
Here & Now: Stories of Survival , photographs and interviews by Elena Dorfman, Avalon, New York, NY (2002)
The C-Word: Teenagers & their Families Living with Cancer , NewSage, Portland, OR (1999)

“Vincent”, 7 minute video produced for Bad Robot and the Children’s Defense Fund
“The 1%”, 3-minute, 2-panel video for “Small Scale/Big Change,” The Museum of
Modern Art, New York, NY (2010)
“The Pleasure Park”, 5-minute panoramic film with original score The Pleasure Park:
“The Jockeys”, 1-hour video loop (2009)
“Costume Play”, 5-minute video animation with original score (2007)

Aoife Rosenmeyer, “We Are the Robots”, Arts Monthly magazine, May 2020
Todd Meyers, “Critic’s Pick”, Still Lovers and Transmutations, March 15, 2019
Melissa Harris, “A Surrogate for Love”, Aperture, March 1, 2019
Benoit Loiseau, “These photographers document hyper-realistic dolls as substitutes for love”, February 28, 2019
“Fotografia e surrogati amorosi”, Askanews Milano, February 20, 2019
Miss Rosen, “Documenting Unconventional love in the 21st Century” Huck, February 20, 2019
Siobhan Reid, “The Prada Foundation’s New Exhibition is One of Their Most
Provocative Yet”, Travel + Leisure, February 20, 2019
Nicoletta Travi, “Plastica che ci riempi il cuore”, Il maschile del Sole 24 ORE,February 19, 2019
Nicoletta Orlandi Posti, “Figli, fidanzate ed amici: quando le bambole sostituiscono l’amore”, Libero, February 20, 2019
Elisabetta Muritti,”Questa Specie D’amore”. D la Repubblica, February 16, 2019
Cristiana Campanini, “Uomini e bambole una relazione d’amore” La Repubblica, February 20, 2019
Surrogati. Un Amore Ideale., Artelab, February 14, 2019
Jordan Anderson, “Fondazione Prada: ‘Surrogati — Un Amore Ideale’”, Twin, February 12, 2019
Clémentine Mercier, “Pour le meilleur et pour la cire”, Libération, February 9, 2019
Christina D’Antonio, “Benvenuti nel Paese delle bambole”, GQ Italia, February 5, 2019
Alessia Glaviano, “Amore E Silicone”, Vogue Italia, February 2019
Stefano Bucci, “Vivere con una bambola”, La Lettura, February 3, 2019
All’Osservatorio di Fondazione Prada la mostra “Surrogati. Un amore ideale”, In Exhibit, January 29, 2019
Arte a Milano–Fondazione Prada–Apre “Surrogati. Un amore ideale”, Donne Cultura, February 20, 2019
Surrogati. Un Amore Ideale., Yatzer, February 2019
Ada Masoero, The World of Dolls, Il Giornale dell’Arte, February 2019
The Exhibition that Tells the Love Between Human Beings and Dolls, Elle Decor Italia, February 20, 2019
All facets of love on display, Vogue Russia, January 11, 2019
Simon Blackburn, “Because You’re Worth It” Attenzione Magazine, Spring 2019
Michael Heitz, “Origin of the New World” DIAPHANES MAGAZINE, Fall/Winter 2019
Grace Banks, “Play With Me” featuring Still Lovers, Fall 2018
Michael Paglia, “Humanitie’s Assault on Nature” Westword, April 4, 2018
Sarah Burke, “At Mills, Portraits of Teen Syrian Refugees Humanize Conflict”, KQED Arts, February 16, 2017
Charles Desmarais, “Photography Show a Snapshot of Collectors’ Selves”, San Francisco Chronicle, June 3, 2016
Sura Wood, “Embarcadero Photography Pilgrimage”, June 16, 2016
Leora Lutz, “Sublime: The LA River”, Art Ltd., March 2016
Liesl Bradner, “Sublime“, The Los Angeles Times, January 30, 2016
Judith Turner-Yamamoto, “Wandering in the Uncanny Valley”, Photographer’s Forum, spring, 2016
Germano Celant, Fotografia maledetta e non, “Still Lovers”, Feltrinelli, 2015
Dzana Tsomondo, “Stolen Youth”, PDN, September 2015
Tema Stauffer, “Syria’s Lost Generation”, American Photo, August 4, 2015
Shepherd, Dan, “Elena Dorfman: Empire Falling and River”, LenScratch, July 10, 2014
Marquad Smith, The Erotic Doll: A Modern Fetish, Yale University Press, 2014
Dana Jennings, “Dreamscapes, Abysses And Radiation”, The New York Times, Paper Gallery, August 23, 2013
Jonathon Keats, “When Photographers are Neuroscientists”, Nautilus, Fall 2013
Vince Aletti, “Alchemical”, The New Yorker, August 5, 2013
Conor Risch, “Built Landscapes: Empire Falling”, PDN, April 22, 2013
Exposed: Voyeruism, Survelliance, and the Camera Since 1870; SFMOMA 2010
Cherie Louis Turner, Art Ltd. “The Pleasure Park,” July/Aug 2010
Conor Riess, Photo District News: Exposures, “The Pleasure Park,” June 2010
Clayton Maxwell, “The Pleasure Park,” Eyemazing Issue 01-2010
Christopher Bolton, “A Cosplay Photography Sampler,” Mechademia 5: Fanthropologies, Fall 2010
“Elena Dorfman,” Realta Manipolate, Palazzio Strozzi, 2009
Reed Albergotti, “For Exhibit”, The Wall Street Journal, April 30, 2000
Le Journal de La Photograhie, “Empire Falling,” March 1, 2013
Kenneth Baker, “Dorfman at Modernism”, San Francisco Chronicle, February 3, 2013
“New Work,” Art Daily, April 30, 2009
“Fandomania,” Exit Magazine, Fall 2009
“The Anime Within,” Mother Jones Magazine, Nov/Dec 2007
Elisabetta Piatti, “Fandomania,” Zoom, Sept/Oct 2007
Karen Leigh, “Character Studies,” Entertainment Weekly, June 1, 2007
Jonathon Keats, “The Talk,” San Francisco Magazine, June 2007

Surrogati. Un Amore Ideale. MANA Contemporary, Jersey City, NJ 2019
Refugees Endure, Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, New Orleans, LA, 2018
Wandering In The Uncanny Valley, Institute for Critical Theory, Academy of the
Arts, Zurich, Switzerland 2018 SBCAST, Santa Barbara, CA, 2017
The George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY, 2016
Newcomb Art Museum of Tulane University, New
Orleans, LA, 2016 Loyola Marymount College, Los Angeles, CA 2016
Annenberg Center for Photography, Los Angeles,
CA, 2016 Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA, 2016
Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, 2016
US Holocaust Memorial Museum (DC), Lecture in New
York, NY, 2016 University of Cincinnati College of Design,
Architecture, Art & Planning, 2015 School of Visual Arts,
New York, NY 2015