Elfriede Dreyer

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Elfriede Dreyer is a curator, artist and Professor Extraordinarius in Art at the University of South Africa. 

She has been working in the domain of South African  academia  and the professional art industry for more than 30 years. She lectured full-time at Unisa in the Art Department from 1990 to 2003 and was Head of Department there for four years. From 2003 to 2014 she lectured full-time at the University of Pretoria as Professor in both Fine Arts and Art History and specialising in postgraduate studies. She was the Academic Dean at the Open Window Institute from 2014 to 2015. Since 2015 she has been affiliated with the University of South Africa again as an Extraordinary Professor in Visual Arts. She has published widely.

Elfriede has worked with major multi-national organisations and museums and provides art consultation to corporates, embassies and private collectors on art collecting and installation. She also provides curatorial and consulting services and does freelance curating at festivals, galleries and various other venues. She has adjudicated at most of the national competitions such Absa l'Atelier, Sasol New Signatures, The Sanlam Portrait Award and others.


She founded Fried Contemporary Art Gallery in Pretoria in 2005, together with Charles Gijzelaar as partner, which she curated and managed until 2014 when it was sold to new owners and it subsequently closed in 2018. This gallery was known as the flagship contemporary space north of Johannesburg.

She founded the CAP Institute for Contemporary Art Practice in 2015 and offers workshops, online Short Courses and an online Certificate in Contemporary Art Practice to emerging and established artists.

In June 2020 she founded Elfriede Dreyer Gallery, an online sequel to Fried Contemporary, which led to the opening of a physical gallery, edg2020 in Midrand, Kyalami, South Africa, in February 2021.

As  artist she has shown her creative work at major galleries and museums. 




Contemporary Art, Utopian Studies, Place And Utopia, Dystopia, Techno-Utopia, Curatorial Practice, African Studies




University of South Africa, Department of Art and Music, Professor Extraordinarius










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Current since 2015:  Extraordinary Professor, Department of Art and Music, University of South Africa

2019: Museum scientist at the Art Bank of South Africa

2014 - 2003: University of Pretoria, from tenured Senior lecturer to Full Professor of Fine Arts and Head of the division of Fine Arts   

2003 - 1990: University of South Africa, Department of Art History and Visual Arts, from tenured Junior Lecturer to Head of Department and ex-officio Director of the Unisa Art Gallery



D Litt et Phil (Art History) (Unisa), 1996-2001. Title of thesis: Dystopia and artifice in late 20th century visual culture.  

International Diploma in Interactive Multimedia (media-gn, Frank Mohr Institute, Groningen), 1996.

MA (Fine Arts) (Unisa) 1988-1992. Title of dissertation: A hermeneutic investigation of the ‘parergon’ in artmaking with special reference to Anselm Kiefer.

BA (Fine Arts) (Unisa) 1981-1987. Majors: Painting (mixed media) and Art History.

Teachers Licentiate in Piano (UP), 1976-1978.

Postgraduate Higher Education Diploma (HED) (UP), 1974.

BA (UP) 1970-73. Majors: Afrikaans, French, Philosophy.


[more than] 30 years of

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in the arts industry