Elijah Burgher

b. 1978, Kingston, New York

Elijah Burgher is an American artist living and working in Berlin, Germany.
His works have been exhibited in solo and group shows in various contexts among which: 2020-21 “Intimacy: New Queer Art from Berlin and Beyond” at Schwulesmuseum, Berlin, 2020 “Scrivere Disegnando: When Language Seeks Its Other” at the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève; 2019 “New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival”, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago, “IL Sperm Cult”, LAXArt, Hollywood, “Queer Abstraction: Contemporary Queer Abstraction”, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa, USA; 2018 “For Opacity”, The Drawing Center, New York, NY, “AA Bronson’s Garten der Lüste”, Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; 2017 "The Nothing That Is: A Drawing Show in 5 Parts", The Carnegie, Covington; 2016 "HOMOCCULT 2.0", Mexico City; 2015 AA "Bronson's Sacre du Printemps", Grazer Kunstverein, the 2014 Whitney Biennial, the 2014 Gwangju Biennial and "The Temptation of AA Bronson" at the Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam. "Nudes in the Forest" at Ivan Gallery, 2018, was Burgher’s first solo show in Europe. Upcoming exhibitions: “N O W H E R E” at Horse & Pony in Berlin, “I am afraid to own a body” at Poker Flats in Williamstown, Massachusetts, solo show at PPOW in New York.
Elijah Burgher’s artistic endeavour is infused with magic, employing occult iconographies from different esoteric systems in creating his specific abstract language and his own formal and meaningful grammar of emblems and sigils, symbols of wishes and desires. His projects develop like rituals of enchantment with references from mysticism, literature, from art’s history as well as his personal one.

Elijah Burgher, "Nudes in the Forest", 2018, Ivan Gallery, exhibition view, photo credits: Cătălin Georgescu
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2004 School of The Art Institute of Chicago, MFA
2002 School of The Art Institute of Chicago, Post-baccalaureate Certificate 
2000 Sarah Lawrence College, BA 

Solo Exhibitions

2021 “Queen of the Forest”, PPOW, New York
2020 “Until the beasts and all the mountain are wild with divinity”, Western Exhibitions, Chicago
2019 “The Lover’s Labyrinth Opens & Closes”, Open Forum, Brunnenstr 115, Berlin; “4 Paintings”, LAXART, Los Angeles, CA
2018 “Nudes in the Forest”, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest
2017 “The Dead Know Everything”, Western Exhibitions, Chicago
2015 “Bachelors”, Zieher Smith + Horton, New York City
2013 “Friendship as a way of life b/w I’m seeking the Minotaur”, Western Exhibitions, Chicago
2012 “Elijah Burgher”, Western Exhibitions, Chicago
2011 “Elijah Burgher, Topple the Table of Correspondences”, 2nd Floor Projects, San Francisco
2010 “Elijah Burgher”, Shane Campbell Gallery, Oak Park

Selected Group Exhibitions 

2022 “The Venusians”, Sean Horton (Presents), Berlin

2021 “Secret Language”, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest; “N O W H E R E”, Horse & Pony, Berlin; “I am afraid to own a body”, Poker Flats, Williamstown, Massachusetts; “The Western Exhibitions Drawing Biennial”, Chicago

2020 “Intimacy: New Queer Art from Berlin and Beyond”, Schwulesmuseum, Berlin; “Scrivere Disegnando: When Language Seeks Its Other,” Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Switzerland

2019 “New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival”, DePaul Art Museum, Chicago; “IL Sperm Cult”, LAXArt, Hollywood; “Queer Abstraction: Contemporary Queer Abstraction”, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa, USA

2018 “For Opacity”, The Drawing Center, New York, NY; “Intimacy”, Yossi Milo Gallery, New York, USA; “AA Bronson’s Garten der Lüste”, Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; “Catch me if you can! AA Bronson + General Idea, 1968–2018”, Esther Schipper, Berlin

2017 “Underlying system is not known”, Western Exhibitions, Chicago; “The Nothing That Is: A Drawing Show in 5 Parts”, curated by Matt Distel and Bill Thelen, The Carnegie, Covington, USA 

2016 “Mentors”, CFHILL Art Space, Stockholm, Sweden; “Broken Flag”, curated by Daniel Berger and Omar Kholief, Iceberg Projects, Chicago; “Elijah Burgher and Anders Ruhlwald”, Paris London Hong Kong, Chicago; “Triple Fantasy”, Third Man Records, Nashville; “HOMOCCULT 2.0”, curated by s+s project and Perras de Museo. Multiple locations, Mexico City Pierre Guyotat – “La matière de nos oeuvres,” Azzedine Alaïa, Paris; “Language of the Birds: Occult and Art”, curated by Pam Gorssman, New York; “Chicago and Vicinity”, Shane Campbell Gallery, Chicago

2015 “AA Bronson’s Sacre du Printemps”, Grazer Kunstverein, Graz, Austria; “The Nothing That Is: a drawing show in five parts”, curated by Bill Thelen, CAM Raleigh, USA; “The Gay Mafia is Real”, Western Exhibitions, Chicago; “River Crossing”, Frederic Edwin Church’s Olana, Hudson, New York; “Cedar Grove”, the Thomas Cole Historic Site, Catskill, NY; “Shift: Carl Bogner presents Steve Reinke & Elijah Burgher”, Woodland Pattern, Milwaukee, USA; “Power Objects: The Future Has a Primitive Heart”, UICA, Grand Rapids, USA; “New American Paintings: Midwest Edition”, curated by Staci Boris, Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhust, USA 

2014-15 “Go Stand Next to the Mountain”, Hales Gallery, London, England 

2014 “AA Bronson’s House of Shame”, 10th Gwangju Biennale, Republic of Korea; Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; “Alms for the Birds”, curated by James Richards, Cabinet, London; “No fate but what we make”, Rhodes College, Memphis, USA; “Tony Greene”, curated by John Neff, Iceberg Projects, Chicago; “In/Situ”, organized by Renaud Proch, Independent Curators International, Expo Chicago; “Rocket Run: Abstraction from Chicago”. Elder Gallery, Nebraska Wesleyan University, Lincoln, USA; “Das stille Leben des Sammlers Kempinski”, curated by Billy Miller and Christian Siekmeier, Exile, Berlin 

2013 “The Temptation of AA Bronson”, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; “VERBAL – SOMATIC – MATERIAL”, The Occult Humanities Conference, New York; “Drawer’s Drawing”, curated by Carrie Gundersdorf and Eric Lebofsky, Julius Caesar and Peregrine Program, Chicago; “Not only this, but ‘New language beckons us.’”, Fales Library and Special Collections, New York University, NY

2012 “All Good Things Become Wild and Free”, Carthage College, Kenosha, Wis. USA; “The Great Refusal: Taking on New Queer Aesthetics.” Sullivan Galleries, Chicago; “Optotype”, 92YTribeca, New York; “Steve Reinke & Elijah Burgher”, Lump, Raleigh, USA

2011 “Queer Chapel”, Nofound Photofair, Paris; “AA Bronson: Queer Spirits and Other Invocations”, Esther Schipper, Berlin; Millie Wilson & Elijah Burgher, Iceberg Projects, MDW Fair, Chicago; “View of Outer Space from an Aquarium”, Famous Accountants, Brooklyn, New York; “Intimacies”, Gallery 400, Chicago; “B-b-b-bad”, Anna Kustera Gallery, New York; “Chromaticism”, NOMA, San Francisco, USA; “People Don’t Like to Read Art”, Western Exhibitions, Chicago; “A Certain Ratio”, Roots & Culture, Chicago 

2010 “Who’s Yr Shaman?”, Johalla Projects, Chicago; “Troll”, Envoy Enterprises, New York; “Engender Trouble”, Iceberg, Chicago; “Bad at Sports: Don’t Piss on Me and Tell Me It’s Raining”, Apexart, New York

2009 “Magician Logician”, Peregrine Program, Chicago; “We Must Indeed All Hang Together”, Sullivan Center, Chicago

2006 “Bentnames”, Fifty50 Gallery, Chicago; “Group Show”, Shane Campbell Gallery, Oak Park, USA; “Homo a Go Go”, Multiple venues, Olympia, USA; “Parliament of Owls”, Upstairs Project Space, Glassell School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA; “Hope”, Linda Warren Gallery, Chicago

2005 “Kelly Williams, Rebecca Walz, Elijah Burgher”, The Suburban, Oak Park, USA; “Drawn to Drawing”, Betty Rymer Gallery, Chicago; “Sketchbook 5”, Chopin Theatre, Chicago

2004 “Mix Tape”, Gallery 400, Chicago; “3 on 3”, Higher Gallery, Chicago; “MFA Show”, Gallery 2, Chicago

2003 “Chicago 11”, Melvin Art Gallery, Lakeland, USA

2002 Post-Baccalaureate Show, Gallery 2, Chicago 

2000 “Elijah Burgher & Sandra Maffiore”, A*Space, Bronxville, New York 


Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 2011 
Fire Island Artist Residency, 2011