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Elfriede 2022_edited.jpg

more than] 30 years

of Working and Producing in the Visual Arts industry 

Book a personal zoom consultation with me on your art ideas or processes. I mentor self-taught, undergraduate and postgraduate students. We zoom from your studio or wherever is best for you. 

Click here to read more and book.



Personal particulars

Nationality: South African

Contact details: +27 83 2712342


Short bio

Elfriede Dreyer is an internationally recognised curator, artist and academic mentor. She is interested in intermediality in art practice, especially in the interfaces of digital and physical media. In her theoretical and practical research she interrogates existentiality and worldmaking constructs with a special focus on the articulations of utopia, dystopia and heterotopia. Her artworks have been exhibited at major galleries, museums, universities and art festivals, and have been taken up in the Collections of the University of Pretoria, Unisa, Telkom, the DBSA, FNB, and various private collections. Besides being a finalist in most of the South African national competitions, also the Brett Kebble Award, she held solo exhibitions in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Pretoria, Paris and Oudtshoorn. She has been affiliated with the University of South Africa as Extraordinary Professor in Art since 2015. Formerly she lectured full-time at Unisa from 1990 to 2003, and from 2003 to 2014 at the University of Pretoria as Full Professor, teaching in both Fine Arts and Art History and specialising in postgraduate studies. Elffriede was the Academic Dean at the Open Window Institute from 2014 to 2015 and she worked as a museum scientist for the Art Bank of South Africa in 2019. Her academic publications appeared in local and internal academic journals and books. Besides founding Fried Contemporary Gallery in Pretoria in 2005 and curating there for 10 years, she continues to curate nationally and internationally at major galleries and museums.. She has adjudicated at most of the national competitions such Absa l'Atelier, Sasol New Signatures, and the Portrait Award. Elfriede has the creative ability and sense of entrepreneurship to produce vision and solutions in the context of the discipline of Visual Arts. She is widely known as a mentor and has the ability to develop artistic talent in others. A key strong point is her complex and interdisciplinary frame of reference due to her academic qualifications in Art History, Visual Arts, Interactive Multimedia, European languages, Music and Philosophy. She received several bursaries as a student and as a professional continues to receive grants from prestigious institutions, including being awarded NRF rating in 2012 and again in 2018. 

Full Curriculum Vitae




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

Online references






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

Current: External examiner for Universities of Johannesburg, Free State and Stellenbosch; Tshwane University of Technology


Current (since 2012): Rated as C2 researcher, National Research Foundation of South Africa

Current (since 1996): Freelance and institutional curator at several museums and galleries (South Africa and Belgium)

2019: Museum scientist for the Art Bank of South Africa

2014-2015: Academic Dean, Open Window Institute

2005-2014: Founder & Curator,  Fried Contemporary Art Gallery & Studio, Pretoria

2003-2014: Senior Lecturer – Full Professor, Department of Visual Arts, University of Pretoria

1990-2003: Full-time lecturing, Department of Art and Music, University of South Africa

Postgraduate Bursaries: 1970, 1971, 1973, 1974, 1988, 1989-1997, Universities of South Africa and Pretoria

Funding and Grants: Absa Bank (several), Standard Bank, National Research Foundation (several), Development Bank of Southern Africa (two), Royal Academy of Arts, Antwerp, National Library of South Africa

Nationally and internationally my artworks have been exhibited at major gallery, museums, universities and art festivals


My work has been taken up in major art collections of the University of Pretoria; Unisa; Telkom; the DBSA; FNB; and various private collections


I was a Finalist in most of the SA national competitions, including the Brett Kebble Award; and I held solo exhibitions in Pretoria, Cape Town, Johannesburg, Paris and Oudtshoorn 

Artist Statement & Portfolio


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

I source, conceptualise and install artworks for galleries, museums, corporates, embassies, private homes and art festivals


I provide advice and inspection reports, as well as art brokering and acquisition advice to art collectors. 



Current (since 2015): Founded CAP Institute for Contemporary Art Practice offering workshops,  online Short Courses and an online Certificate in Contemporary Art Practice to emerging and established artists


Current: Vice-President of SANAVA (South African National Association for the Visual Arts)

2005: Founded Fried Contemporary Art Gallery in Pretoria in 2005, together with Charles Gijzelaar as partner, which I 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

I adjudicate at most of the national competitions such Absa l'Atelier, Sasol New Signatures, The Sanlam Portrait Award and others


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