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Elisabeth Ajtay

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Lives in
San Francisco, CA

Works in
San Francisco, CA


photography, conceptual, installation



Spending a childhood in Transylvania/Romania behind the iron curtain, Elisabeth Ajtay grew up in the democratic society of Western Germany, leaving two years for Hungary, back in the days, when the changes after the revolutions in Eastern Europe were still in progress.

She received a Diploma in Communications Design in Dortmund /Germany and a Master of Fine Arts in San Francisco/CA.

Her life was and is predominated by traveling. Passing different cultures and nations by arrival and departure are the characteristics of her life. As an unrooted person she welcomes the nomadic presence and reflects the experience of the mobility of the body and soul and its consequences within her artistic work. Ajtay constantly questions the appearance of objects, states of mind. Describing herself as a transnational is an attempt to get beyond labeling regarding race and nationality.

Elisabeth Ajtay's work has been shown and published nationally and internationally since 2003.



2011-13 ◦ San Francisco Art Institute
Master of Fine Arts/Photography, San Francisco CA
2000-06 University of Applied Sciences Dortmund/FH Dortmund)
Master of Science, Communications Design/Photography, Dortmund, Germany
1998 -2000 Residence in Budapest
◦ Prepared drawing/photo portfolios
◦ Deepened artistic knowledge in the areas of light, form and shape
◦ Studied in the fields of dance, photography, drawing and painting at
Tamás Kopasz et al.
◦ Attended silver jewelry, photographic and graphic design intensive classes



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, Germany
The Scent of the West,
curated by Simone Czech, Galerie 143, Dortmund, Germany



2013 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, Germany
Art by Telephone… Recalled,
curated by Sébastien Pluot and Fabien Vallos, Centre National Édition Art et Images-CNEAI, Chatou, France
2012 Art by Telephone… Recalled, curated by Sébastien Pluot and Fabien Vallos, CAPC musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France
Rob The Noisebank, THE LAB, San Francisco CA
◦ Nomads, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco, United States
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, Germany
Zuhause/At Home, Bibliothek Scharnhorst, Dortmund, Germany
4. F/STOP Leipzig, Photo Festival, Leipzig, Germany
2009 inSPIRACJE, 5th Festival for Visual Arts curated by Krzysztof Ked Olszewski,
Szeczin, Poland
raum-fluss-vektoren/space-flow-vectors, photographic installation,
KVWL-Kassenärztlicher Verband Westfalen-Lippe, Dortmund, Germany
The Christmas Photo Album, curated by Tina Schelhorn, Gallery, Moscow, Russia



2013 ◦ Juried Winner, Artslant 5th Showcase in Photography
1st place, Paul Sack Building Award in Black & White Photography
San Francisco, CA
2011-13 Scholarship of Merit, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco CA
2012 ◦ Honorable Mention, Paul Sack Building Award, San Francisco CA
Honorable Mention, PX3-Prix de la Photographie Paris, Paris, France
2009 Semi Finalist, Photofestival Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands
2005 Material grant, Kodak, Köln, Germany
2002 3rd place-Skin Aesthetics and Fascination, 2. Hamburger Triennale der
Photographie, Hamburg, Germany



2013 Currency, exhibition catalogue, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco CA
2012 Sehstücke, Kunstwerke für die KVWL, KVWL Dortmund, FH Dortmund, Dortmund, Germany
  ◦ 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, Germany
  Kultur Elektrisiert, book, RWE Aktiengesellschaft Essen, Katrin Osbelt-KO2B, Klartext-Verlag, Essen, Germany
  ◦ VoRWEggehen und den Ruhrtalradweg zur Open-Air Galerie machen, catalogue, RWE Deutschland AG, Essen, Germany
2009 inSPIRACJE/space, exhibition catalogue, inSPIRACJE, Szeczin, Poland
2008 Camera Austria International N° 103/104, Graz, Austria
2006 Nah und Fern N° 32/Bilder in unseren Köpfen, cultural magazine for Migration and Participation, Prof. Dr. Birgit Rommelspacher, von Loeper Literaturverlag, Karlsruhe, Germany
2005 7. Internationale Fototage Mannheim/Ludwigshafen, exhibition catalogue, Mannheim, Germany
2002 ◦ Reality-check, 2. Hamburger Triennale der Photografie, catalogue



2012 ◦ Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco CA
2010 ◦ Bibliothek Scharnhorst, Dortmund, Germany
2007 ◦ Casa Matei, Cluj, Romania



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
2001-03 ◦ Teaching Assistant to Jörg Winde, – div. photography classes
University of Applied Sciences and Art, Dortmund, Germany
Recent Exhibits

Elisabeth Ajtay participated in these exhibits:

Jan, 2014 2014 Juried Exhibition
Center for Photographic Art
Aug, 2013 Exported Dreams, Imported Desires
Ramon's Tailor
Dec, 2012 Rob the Noise Bank
The Lab
Nov, 2012 Art by Telephone... Recalled
Swell Gallery
Jul, 2012 Not Kansas: Photographers Explore Their Own Worlds
Rayko Photo Center
Jul, 2012 Not Kansas: photographers explore their own worlds.
Rayko Photo Center
Click here to see all exhibits for Elisabeth Ajtay
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