About

Amy Elkins is a visual artist based in the Bay Area. She received her BFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts and her MFA in Art Practice from Stanford University.  She works in photography,  installation and sculpture and has spent the past fifteen years researching, creating and exhibiting work that explores the multifaceted nature of masculine identity as well as the psychological and sociological impacts of incarceration.  Most recently Elkins' work pivots to include explorations of self as well as her family's deeply rooted and complex history in Southern California as an 8th generation born on Tongva land in the greater Los Angeles area.  Her approach is series-based, steeped in research and oscillates between formal, conceptual and documentary.

Elkins has been exhibited and published both nationally and internationally, including at The High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA; South Bend Museum of Art in South Bend IN; MSU Broad Museum in Lansing, MI; Kunsthalle Wien in Vienna; the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ; the Minneapolis Institute of Arts; North Carolina Museum of Art and more.  Her photographs have been published in American Photo, Conveyor, Dear Dave, EyeMazing, Financial Times, Harpers, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, NY Arts, New York Times, New Yorker, PDN, Real Simple, Stella and Vice among many others.  

Elkins 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.   Her second book Anxious Pleasures was published by Kris Graves Projects and can be purchased HERE.

Additional book publications include The Portrait. Photography as a Stage From Robert Mapplethorpe to Nan Goldin; The Sports Show: Athletics as Image and Spectacle; Photographs Not Taken; By the Glow of the Jukebox: The Americans List; Keeper of the Hearth; Next Generation: Contemporary American Photography; and The Photographer’s Playbook among others.

Elkins co-founded Women in Photography (WIPNYC) with Cara Phillips in 2008.  The primarily internet-based project showcased the work of lens-based women artists outside of the traditional model of the commercial art world.  Since its inception, Women in Photography awarded over seventeen thousand dollars in grants to artists and collaborated with Aperture Foundation, LACMA, MoCP, Leslie Tonkonow, Lightwork, P.P.O.W Gallery, Humble Arts Foundation and many independent women curators.


Download full CV here



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SOLO EXHIBITIONS & TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS:

2022

Wallflower II, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2021 

Parting Words, South Bend Museum of Art, South Bend, IN

2019 

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Vita Arts Center, Ventura, CA

2018 

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, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece

2017 

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

2016 

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Cress Gallery, Chattanooga, TN

2015 

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, 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, CA

2014 

Black is the Day, Black is the Night, Aperture Gallery, New York, NY

2012       

Looking & Looking: Jen Davis & Amy Elkins, Light Work Gallery, Syracuse, NY

2011 

Elegant Violence, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY

2008 

Wallflower, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY



SELECT GROUP EXHIBITIONS:

2022 

Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana, Syracuse University Art Museum,

     Syracuse, NY

What Photography Is, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Roanoke, VA

     Catalog:What Photography Is, Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Roanoke, VA, 2022

Ultra Violent, Patricia Sweetow Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Let Them Eat Cake, Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford, CA

     Catalog: Let Them Eat Cake, Stanford, CA, 2022

2021 

Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana, MSU Broad Museum, Lansing, MI

Lava Cake, Thomas Welton Stanford Art Gallery, Stanford, CA

Looking West, A Survey of Art on the Left Coast, Mark Moore Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2020 

Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana, Ford Foundation Gallery, New York, NY

Legacy Exhibition, Museum of Ventura County, Ventura, CA

Layer Cake, Coulter Gallery, Stanford, CA

Right of Return x Represent Justice, Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA

2019 

Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana, Newcomb Museum, New Orleans, LA

     Catalog: Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women in Louisiana, Newcomb Museum, 

     New Orleans, LA, 2019

American Truth: A Biennial Alumni Exhibition, School of Visual Arts Chelsea Gallery

2018

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

Due Process, Goethe Institut: Ludlow 38 gallery, New York, NY

2017 

Man Up, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Notions of Home, Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York, NY

Women Look Out, Arena 1 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2015 

Inside/Outside: Prison Narratives, Wignall Museum of Contemporary Art, 

      Chaffey College, Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Manifest: Justice, Baldwin Theatre, Los Angeles, CA

2014 

Performance: Contemporary Photography from the Douglas Nielsen Collection

     Center for Creative Photography, Tucson, AZ 

2013 

Recent Acquisitions, North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

2012       

Andy Warhol and his Contemporaries: an urban milieu, Flaten Art Museum, Northfield, MN

The Sports Show Curated by David Little, Minneapolis Institute of Arts Museum, 

     Minneapolis, MN

     Catalog: Little, David Eugene. The Sports Show: Athletics as Image and Spectacle. 

    Minneapolis, MN: University Of Minnesota Press, 2012

2010           

Homesick, Carnegie Art Museum, Oxnard, CA

2009   

The Portrait. Photography as a Stage: From Robert Mapplethorpe to Nan Goldin.

     Curated by Peter Weiermair, The Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

     Catalog: The Portrait: Photography as a Stage: Verlag für Moderne Kunst, 2010

The House was Quiet and the World was Calm. Curated by Christopher Lew

     Tina Kim Gallery, New York, NY


COLLECTIONS: 

The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA

Newcomb Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA

North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh, NC

Light Work, Syracuse, NY

Aperture Foundation, 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)

Stanford Bowes Art and Architecture Library 

(BITDBITN Book + Anxious Pleasures Book and Print Set)

Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Roanoke, VA


MONOGRAPHS:

Elkins, Amy. Anxious Pleasures. 1st ed., Queens, NY: Kris Graves Projects, 2022. Print

Elkins, Amy. Black Is the Day, Black Is the Night. 1st ed., Oxnard, CA:  Self Published, 2016. Print


AWARDS AND RESIDENCIES:

2021 

Pauline Brown Fund Recipient for Advanced Research in American Art,

        Stanford University, Stanford, CA

The Huntington, Independent Research Scholar, San Marino, CA

2020 

 Cadogan Award, San Francisco, CA

2019 

 Pauline Brown Fund Recipient for Advanced Research in American Art,

        Stanford University, Stanford, CA

2018 

The Huntington, Independent Research Scholar, San Marino, CA

2017 

 Lucie Independent Book Prize, Los Angeles, CA

MACK First Book Awards Shortlist, London, England

2016 

 Paris Photo-Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards Shortlist, New York, NY

2015 

 Peter S Reed Foundation Grant, New York, NY

2014 

Aperture Portfolio Prize Latitude Artist-in-Residence, Chicago, IL 

2013 

LEAD Award Portrait Category, Hamburg, Germany 

2012 

Villa Waldberta International Artist-in-Residence, Munich, Germany

2011 

Lightwork Artist-in-Residence, Syracuse, NY


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