Amy Elkins is an 8th generation Californian currently based in the Greater Los Angeles area. Her work explores the multifaceted nature of masculine identity as well as the impacts of mass incarceration, isolation and capital punishment through both formal and conceptual means.
Her earlier work, Wallflower (2004-2008), looks into nuances of gender identity and vulnerability. She later went on to investigate the more aggressive, competitive and violent aspects of male identity through projects Elegant Violence (2010), where she documented young Ivy League rugby players moments after the game and Black is the Day, Black is the Night, a collaborative project created out of correspondence with men serving life and death row sentences in some of the most maximum security prisons in the United States. BITDBITN spanned eight years, exploring how memory and notions of self are impacted by isolation and long term imprisonment.
In 2016 Elkins returned to the Wallflower portrait, constructing temporary environments in the personal space of strangers in urban and rural Georgia upon first meeting and found through online calls surrounding ideas of masculinity and gender in the American South.
Elkins received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally, including at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna, Austria; the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; North Carolina Museum of Art; among others. Elkins has been awarded The Lightwork Artist-in-Residence in Syracuse, NY in 2011, the Villa Waldberta International Artist-in-Residence in Munich, Germany in 2012, the Aperture Prize and the Latitude Artist-in-Residence in 2014 and The Peter S. Reed Foundation Grant in 2015.
Her first book Black is the Day, Black is the Night won the 2017 Lucie Independent Book Award. It was Shortlisted for the 2017 Mack First Book Award and the 2016 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation Photobook Prize as well as listed as one of the Best Photobooks of 2016 by TIME, Humble Arts Foundation, Photobook Store Magazine and Photo-Eye among others.
Elkins co-founded Women in Photography (WIPNYC) with Cara Phillips in 2008. In 2009 WIPNYC launched its first grant program and has since given seventeen-thousand dollars in funds and materials to support women artists.
SOLO & TWO PERSON EXHIBITIONS:
Amy Elkins: Photographs of Contemporary Masculinity, Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion,
Orange Coast College. Costa Mesa. CA
Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Benaki Museum, Athens Photo Festival. Athens, Greece
Black is the Day, Black is the Night, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA
Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Cress Gallery, Chattanooga, TN
Black is the Day, Black is the Night, International Festival of Photography, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Houston Center for Photography, Houston, TX
In Position: Amy Elkins & Jona Frank, DeSoto Gallery, Los Angeles
Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Aperture Gallery, New York
Looking & Looking: Jen Davis & Amy Elkins, Light Work Gallery, Syracuse, NY
Elegant Violence, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
Wallflower, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York
SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana, Newcomb Museum, New Orleans, LA
A Recounting, Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Be Strong and Do Not Betray Your Soul: Selections from the Light Work Collection,
Kathleen O. Ellis Gallery, Syracuse, NY. Syracuse, NY.
Due Process, Goethe Institut Ludlow 38, New York, NY.
Oxnard Plain, Carnegie Art Museum Studio, Oxnard, CA.
Notions of Home, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY.
Man Up, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Inside/Outside: Prison Narratives, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA.
Performance: Contemporary Photography from the Douglas Nielsen Collection Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ.
Recent Acquisitions, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
Andy Warhol and his Contemporaries: an urban milieu, Flaten Art Museum, Northfield, MN
The Sports Show, Minneapolis Institute of Arts Museum, Minneapolis, MN
Homesick, Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA.
Incognito: The Hidden Self-Portrait, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY
The Portrait. Photography as a Stage: From Robert Mapplethorpe to Nan Goldin. Curated by Peter Weiermair, The Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria
The High Museum Permanent Collection, Atlanta, GA.
North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC
Light Work Permanent Collection, Syracuse, NY
Aperture Foundation Permanent Collection, New York, NY
SFMoMA Research Library (BITDBITN book)
National Art Library, Victoria & Albert Museum (BITDBITN book)
Special Collections at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (BITDBITN book)
HAAS Arts Special Collections Yale University (BITDBITN book)
AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES:
Lucie Independent Book Prize
MACK First Book Awards- Shortlist
Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards - Shortlist
Diane Marek Visiting Artist Series, Chattanooga, TN
Peter S Reed Foundation Grant
Aperture Portfolio Prize
Latitude Artist-in-Residence, Chicago, IL
Villa Waldberta International Artist-in-Residence, Munich, Germany
Lightwork Artist-in-Residence, Syracuse, NY.
La seconda luna, curated by Alessandro Baricco
2017 Field Guide to the North American Family by Garth Risk Hallberg
Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Self Published, Design by Ania Nalecka / Tapir
Public/Private/Portrait, Published by Mossless in collaboration w/ Charlotte Cotton / ICP
The Photographer’s Playbook, Published by Aperture
The Photographer’s Sketchbook, Published by Thames and Hudson
The Sports Show: Athletics as Image and Spectacle by David Little
Next Generation: Contemporary American Photography by Stefan-Maria Mittendorf
The Americans List. By the Glow of the Juke Box by Jason Eskenazi
Photographs Not Taken, edited by Will Steacy through Daylight Publications.
The Portrait. Photography as a Stage by Peter Weiermair