Elise Ferguson

At the intersection of painting, sculpture and printmaking, Elise Ferguson’s abstract work reveres the purposely imperfect. The artist’s mark-making gestures suggest traces of mathematical puzzles, alphabetic scripts and geometric variations—as well as clothing patterns, architectural flourishes, musical notations and hieroglyphic writing. Ferguson combines pattern and color with a range of process-driven approaches to explore both space and the flexible nature of perception.


Elise Ferguson was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1964. The artist received an MFA from the University of Illinois, Chicago in 1995, and a BFA from The School of Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois in 1988.

Solo exhibitions of Ferguson’s work have taken place at: Romer Young Gallery in San Francisco, California; 57W57 Arts in New York City; Halsey McKay in New York City; and Barton College Art Galleries in Wilson, North Carolina; among others. 

Group exhibitions that have shown Ferguson’s work have taken place at: Massey Klein in New York City; Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois; Able Baker Contemporary in Portland, Maine; Dieu Donné Papermill in Brooklyn, New York; and Johannes Vogt Gallery in New York City; among others. 

In 2018, Ferguson was selected as the Dieu Donne Paper Variables Artist. The artist won the Northern Trust Purchase Prize at the Expo Chicago in Illinois in 2014. 

In 2003, Ferguston was the artist-in-residence at Illinois State University. In 1996, the artist won the SIU-Carbondale University Museum Merit Award. Ferguson also participated in residencies at the MacDowell Colony and the Socrates Sculpture Park.

Ferguson’s work has been featured in: The New York Times, Artforum, The Wall Street Journal, Contemporary Magazine, Interior Design, Art on Paper, Modern Painters and Art News, among others. 

Ferguson's work is in the public collections of: The Progressive Art Collection; Northern Trust; Microsoft; Google; the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio; the RISD Museum in Providence, Rhode Island; and the SUNY Albany Museum in Albany, New York.

Ferguson lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

photo credit Jane Wesman