Elana Herzog uses material culture to consider aspects of ephemerality, entropy, pleasure and pain. Her current focus is on the global migrations of culture and technology as seen through the lens of textile. She researches the ways that people and materials relocate, transforming domestic and institutional environments over time. She collects textiles gleaned from daily life, sourcing her materials from Norway, Russia, Finland and USA, among other places; charged materials that carry personal stories, mark time, chart navigations and conquests. Through time, Herzog became a pioneer of non-traditional, exquisite materials, creating from these installations about transformation which collapse memory, time and place.
In much of her work during the past almost twenty years, Herzog has used thousands of metal staples to embed and then deconstruct found textiles into various surfaces, including gallery walls, movable panels and mixed media constructions. Her installations are characterized by a mix of rigorous hard work and craftsmanship with playful, context-sensitive experimentation, in which "labor-intensive "making" and “unmaking” is ultimately subsumed into a final product that is light-on-its-feet and almost seems to dissolve." Herzog's multifaceted practice led to her experiments with alternative mediums: her recent work incorporated wood in the form of lumber, cut logs, shipping crates and pallets, as well as loose fabric constructions and embroidery.
Elana Herzog lives and works in New York City. She holds a BA from Bennington College and an MFA from Alfred University. Herzog is a recipient of a 2017 Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. Her work was recently the subject of an interview with Jan Garden Castro in the Summer 2020 issue of Sculpture Magazine. She is currently developing a large project for the inaugural exhibition of the David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center, in Tarrytown, New York, scheduled to open in March 2022.
Herzog has had solo and two person exhibitions at the Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, Western Exhibitions in Chicago, at Studio 10, at The Boiler (Pierogi), and at Smack Mellon, all in Brooklyn, at the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Connecticut; the Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, and Diverseworks in Houston, Texas. “De-Warped and Un-Weft,” a survey of Herzog’s work since 1993, was at the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art in Missouri in 2009. Her work has been exhibited internationally in the Republic of Georgia, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Canada, Chile and the Netherlands, and she has participated in numerous group shows at institutions such as The Brooklyn Museum, The Museum of Arts and Design and The 8th Floor in New York City, The Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs, New York, The Weatherspoon Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina, and The Kohler Museum in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.
Herzog has been awarded residencies in the United States at Yaddo, MacDowell, The Joan Mitchell Center, the Josef and Anni Albers Foundation, the Marie Walsh Sharpe Space Program; LMCC Workspace, Dieu Donne Paper and Wave Hill, and internationally from CEC Artslink Back Apartment Residency, St Petersburg, Russia; Søndre Green Farm, Noresund, Norway; Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne, Australia; and the Farpath Foundation, Dijon, France. Elana Herzog has received numerous grants, including a Foundation for Contemporary Art Emergency Grant in 2017, the Anonymous Was A Woman Award in 2009, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award in 2007, NYFA Fellowships in 2007 and 1999, the 2004 Lillian Elliot Award, the 2003 Lambent Fund Fellowship and the 1999 Joan Mitchell Award. She has been a visiting artist at multiple universities and other institutions and was a lecturer at Yale University from 2012-2016.