Erika Blumenfeld (b. 1971, USA) is a transdisciplinary artist whose practice is motivated by the wonder of natural phenomena and the relationship between nature and culture. Driven by a passion to trace the evidence and stories of connection within the cosmos, her artistic inquiries have led her to examine a range of subjects including astronomy, geology, petrology, planetary science, ecology, the environment, anthropogenic climate disruption, natural night sky preservation and light in its many forms. Often working with scientists and research institutions, her non-traditional research-based studio practice has explored the subtle shifts in lunar and solar light, the prismatic landscape of Antarctica, the starry night sky, the glow of marine bioluminescence, and the intricate mineralogical structure of astromaterials. The photo and video-based works, installations, paintings, drawings, sculptures and writing that result are the artifacts that express her inquiries’ reflections.
Blumenfeld is the recipient of many awards including NASA’s ROSES PDART Grant (2016-2019); the Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship at the National Museum of Natural History (2015); Cape Farewell’s Scottish Islands Expedition Residency (2011); the Purchase Award from the New Mexico Museum of Art (2010); Artist-in-residence with ITASC Research Team, SANAE Research Base, Antarctica (2009); the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (2008); Ballroom Marfa’s Inaugural Artist-in Residence (2004); the Creative Capital Foundation Grant (2000); an exhibition grant from Land Rheinland-Pfalz Kultusministerium (2002); three Polaroid Corporation Film Grants; and a Special Editions Fellowship from the Lower East Side Printshop (2000). She has collaborated with the Scripps Institution for Oceanography, the McDonald Observatory, the South African National Antarctic Program and NASA.
Blumenfeld’s work has been exhibited widely in museums and galleries in the US and abroad, including the Albright Knox Art Gallery (Buffalo, New York); Fondation EDF Espace Electra (Paris, France); New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts (Santa Fe, New Mexico); Ballroom Marfa (Marfa, Texas); DiverseWorks Art Space (Houston, Texas); Färgfabriken Norr (Östersund, Sweden); Galerie der Stadt Mainz-Brückenturm (Mainz, Germany); Kunstnernes Hus (Oslo, Norway); OCA (Sao Paulo, Brazil); Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (Portland, Oregon); Women & Their Work (Austin, Texas); Stadtgalerie (Kiel, Germany); TATE Modern (London, UK); Willem de Kooning Academie (Rotterdam, Netherlands); among others.
Her work has been featured in DAMn Magazine; Arts + Culture Texas; Paddle8; ScienceBlogs: Universe; Art in America; ARTnews; Camera Arts; Nature; Artkrush; New Scientist; Austin American Statesman; Denver Post; and The New York Times. Her work appears in many book publications, including LUX (Archeology of Photography Foundation/Poland, 2016); Art and Ecology Now (Thames & Hudson/UK, 2014); Klima Kunst Kultur (Steidl/Germany, 2014); Arte da Antarctica (Goethe Institut/Brazil, 2009), which includes her essay “What is White”; The Polaroid Book (Taschen/Germany, editions 2005 & 2008); and Photography: New Mexico (Fresco Fine Art Publications, 2008).
Blumenfeld’s works are 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.
The artist has given talks at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France; Clay Center for Arts & Sciences, Charleston, WV; Idea Festival, Louisville, KY; TATE Modern, London, UK; University of Harford, Hartford, CT; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland, OR; New Mexico Museum of Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM, among others.
She holds a BFA in Photography from Parsons The New School for Design and an MSc in Conservation Studies from University College London.
Blumenfeld lives and works in Houston, Texas.