Erika Blumenfeld (b. 1971, USA) is an internationally exhibiting artist and Guggenheim Fellow with a BFA in Photography from Parsons The New School of Design.
Since 1998, Erika Blumenfeld has approached her work much like an ecological archivist, and has created photo-based and video-based works through the study, witness and documentation of the wondrous natural world. In her Light Recordings series, the artist works with solar and lunar light as both medium and subject, developing her own cameras and processes to directly record the subtle incremental changes that light makes throughout our daily and yearly astronomical cycles. During her residency in Antarctica she initiated her work, The Polar Project, using both lens-less and lens-based cameras to document the atmospheric phenomena that occur on the ice continent, from the ocean beginning to freeze to the sun’s rays acting upon the prismatic surface of the vast ice fields. In her photojournalistic work she returns entirely to the traditional camera to document humanity’s impact upon the natural world.
Blumenfeld’s photojournalistic work has been published by Al Jazeera English, Inter Press Service, Truthout, and has appeared on Democracy Now!, among others.
Blumenfeld’s artwork has been exhibited widely in galleries and museums in the US and abroad, including the Albright Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, New York), Ballroom (Marfa, Texas), DiverseWorks Art Space (Houston, Texas), Färgfabriken Norr (Östersund, Sweden), Galerie der Stadt Mainz-Brückenturm (Mainz, Germany), Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo, Norway), New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts (Santa Fe) OCA (Sao Paulo, Brazil), Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (Oregon), Stadtgalerie (Kiel, Germany), Willem de Kooning Academie (Rotterdam, Netherlands), and TATE Modern (London), among many others.
Blumenfeld has received grants from Creative Capital Foundation, Foundation for Contemporary Arts, Land Rheinland-Pfalz Kultusministerium, Polaroid Corporation, and a purchase award from the New Mexico Museum of Art. She was Ballroom Marfa’s inaugural artist-in-residence, and was awarded a Special Editions Fellowship from the Lower East Side Printshop.
She has been awarded rare opportunities to create her artwork in non-traditional studio environments. In 2001, and again in 2011, she worked on a Bioluminescence project with Latz Laboratory at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In 2004, the artist worked on a video piece documenting a full lunar cycle at the McDonald Observatory. In January of 2009, Blumenfeld was invited to join an expedition to Antarctica as the artist-in-residence of ITASC (Interpolar Transnational Art Science Constellation) and SANAP (South African National Antarctic Program).
Her artworks has been featured in Art In America, ARTnews, Nature: Climate Change, New Scientist and Camera Arts magazines, and appears in the books Photography: New Mexico published by Fresco Fine Art Publications (2008), The Polaroid Book (2005, 2008) published by Taschen. The artist’s recent work from Antarctica appears in the book Arte Da Antartida (Art from Antarctica) published by Goethe-Institut (2009), in which Blumenfeld’s essay “What is White” is also included. “What is White” has been translated into both Portuguese and German and is also published on Goethe-Institut’s Culture and Climate Change website.
Blumenfeld’s artwork is in the permanent collections of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Lannan Foundation, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts, The Polaroid Collection, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and the University of Texas.