Sarah Malakoff

Boston, MA

Sarah Malakoff was born in Andover, Massachusetts in 1972.  She received her B.A. from Smith College in 1994 and her M.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 1997.  She creates large-scale color photographs that are examinations of the home and its psychologically charged, uncanny spaces and objects.

Past solo exhibitions include Sol Mednick Gallery in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Plane Space in New York, New York, and Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston, Massachusetts.  Her photographs have also been shown recently at The Carnegie Museum of Art, Allan Nederpelt Gallery, The Trustman Art Gallery, Photo Center NW, The DeCordova Museum, The Portland Museum of Art, The Danforth Museum of Art, The Smith College Museum of Art, The Photographic Resource Center, and San Francisco Camerawork. She received a 2001 Artist’s Grant in Photography from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and a 2011 Traveling Fellowship from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Her most recent show at Plane Space was reviewed on and in the April 2007 issue of Art in America and a recent project has been published in the Fall 2007 issue of Esopus Magazine.  Her work has been also been reproduced and reviewed in Artnet Magazine (January 2011), Pittsburgh Magazine (May 2010), PDN Online, (May 2009), Big, Red, and Shiny (May 2007), Down East (May 2007), Boston Globe (June 2005), Nest (Fall 2003), Camerawork (Winter 2002), San Francisco Chronicle (August 2002), Bay Windows (October 2000), and American Photo On Campus, (March 1997).  She is included in the collections of The DeCordova Museum, Simmons College, Smith College Museum of Art, and Fidelity Investments.  She currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts and teaches at The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.

My photographs are examinations of the home as both a refuge from, and at times a re-creation of the outside world.  In my images, architecture and furnishings appear as uncanny symbols of culture, family, and nature.  With the intentional exclusion of human occupants, my subjects spark curious speculation of their own.  The private and personal are expressed in part by objects and signifiers which are displayed versus those which are hidden; what is allowed inside, and what is kept out.  For example, doors and windows both frame exterior views and keep the elements at bay.  Land, weather, and wildlife are ever present on the other side of the wall even as they are brought safely inside in the form of pattern, simulation, and domesticated animals.

These pictures speak to notions of comfort, class, and style as well as universal attempts to control and transcend our environment. Tensions, and often humor, appear between absence and presence, old and new, real and surreal, permanent and transient, genuine and artificial, the domestic and the natural worlds. The desire to resolve these tensions drives the viewer to create their own narrative and imagine possible inhabitants.


School of the Museum of Fine Arts (SMFA), Boston, MA & Tufts University, Medford, MA M.F.A.
Emphasis in Photography, Film, Video & Digital Imaging

Smith College, Northampton, MA, B.A. cum laude

Solo Exhibitions

Sol Mednick Gallery, The University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Griffin Museum of Photography, Winchester, MA

Gallery 244, University of Massachusetts, New Bedford, MA

Plane Space, New York, NY

Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA

Blink Gallery, Newport, RI

Plane Space, New York, NY

Massachusetts Cultural Council, Boston, MA

Group Exhibitions

Simmons Collects, Trustman Art Gallery, Simmons College, Boston, MA
Rules of Engagement, Allan Nederpelt, New York, NY
Animals and Botanicals, The Lincoln Arts Project Gallery, Waltham, MA
Joyce Elaine Grant Exhibition, Texas Womanʼs University Fine Arts Gallery, Denton, TX
Blue, Center For Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO

Imagining Home, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA
3 Artists, Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols School Art Gallery, Cambridge, MA
New Works, Silver Eye Center for Photography Online Gallery, Pittsburgh, PA
Exposed: Critical Mass, Photo Center NW, Seattle, WA
Creatures Great and Small, Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY

Itʼs Still Life, Rayko Photo Center, San Francisco, CA
Creatures Great and Small, Clara M. Eagle Gallery, Murray State University, Murray, KY
HOME, Attleboro Arts Museum, Attleboro, MA
CyberArts South, Design Gallery 154, N. Dartmouth, MA

Gangbusters, Plane Space, New York, NY
Open House, Howell Studios, Portland, ME

New Arrivals, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
2007 New England Photography Biennial, Danforth Museum, Framingham, MA
Portland Museum of Art Biennial, Portland, ME

Approaches to Narrative, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
Maine: The Way Life Is, Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME

Items May Have Shifted, Plane Space Gallery, New York, NY
Griffin Museum of Photography Exhibition, Winchester, MA

PRC Membersʼ Exhibition, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA

Undomesticated Interiors, Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, MA
Faculty 2003, Bell Gallery, Brown University, Providence, RI
In Summation, Plane Space Gallery, New York, NY
Photographers ʼ03, Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham, MA
Portland Museum of Art Biennial, Portland, ME

Safe Haven: Picturing Domestic Space, SF Camerawork, San Francisco, CA
Bowdoin College Faculty Exhibition, Icon Gallery, Brunswick, ME

Manifest 2001, The Copley Society, Boston, MA
PRC Membersʼ Exhibition, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA
New England/New York/New Talent, Hampden Gallery, Amherst, MA

New Work/New Ideas, Green Street Gallery, Jamaica Plain, MA
Twice Born: Beauty, Mills Gallery, Boston, MA
Blue, Lowell Street Gallery, Cambridge Art Association

New American Talent 14, Centerspace, Austin and various cities, Texas
The Apartment Show, 760 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA

3rd Biennial Exhibition, A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY
New Directions '98, Barrett House Galleries, Poughkeepsie, NY
9th National Juried Exhibition, Viridian Gallery, New York, NY
Urb, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
New Photography, Weems Center, Boston, MA

Women in Photography, Grossman Gallery, Boston, MA
Museum School Medal Ceremony, SMFA, Boston, MA (Featured artist at the reception)
M.F.A. Thesis Exhibition, Tisch Gallery, Aidekman Arts Center, Medford, MA
January Exhibition, Grossman Gallery, SMFA, Boston, MA

First Expressions Gallery, Boston, MA
BOIT Exhibition and Competition, Grossman Gallery, SMFA, Boston, MA
Seats of Meaning, Aidekman Arts Center, Medford, MA
Selections from New England M.F.A. Programs, Boston University Art Gallery
Electronic Imaging Exhibition, Weems Center, Boston, MA

First Annual Student Member Exhibition, Photographic Resource Center, Boston, MA
BOIT Exhibition, Grossman Gallery, SMFA, Boston, MA

Recent Photography, Thornes Art Gallery, Northampton, MA
Insides, Hillyer Hall, Smith College, Northampton, MA


Nathan, Emily. “Brooklyn Local”, Artnet Magazine (January 24, 2011).

May, Mike. “Imagining Home: Selections From the Heinz Architectural Center”, Pittsburgh Magazine (May 2010).
Staff reports. “ʼImagining Homeʼ on Display in Pittsburgh”, Herald Star (February 4, 2010)

Risch, Conor. “Reviewers Discuss Their Favorite Portfolios: Brian Paul Clamp on Sarah Malakoff”, Photo District News Online (May 11, 2009).

“Sarah Malakoff: Untitled Interiors”, Esopus (Fall 2007): 17-34.
Coggins, David. “Sarah Malakoff at Plane Space”, Art in America (April 2007): 137.

Sholis, Brian. “Criticsʼ Picks: Sarah Malakoff”, Artforum (Nov. 28, 2006):
Nash, Matthew. "2007 Biennial at the Portland Museum of Art”, Big, Red, and Shiny (Issue 62)
“The Way Life Is?”, Down East (October 2006): 80-81.

McQuaid, Cate. “Peter Tollens: New Work and Sarah Malakoff: Interiors”, The Boston Globe (June 24, 2005): C15.

Brown, Leslie K. “2004 PRC Membersʼ Exhibition”, In The Loupe (July/August 2004): 4-6.

“Decorator Horoscope”, Nest Magazine (Volume 22: Fall 2003): 144-145.
Van Siclen, Bill. "Art Scene", The Providence Journal (Sept 8, 2003).
Talman, Stefan. "Faculty Exhibition", The Brown Daily Herald (Providence, RI; Sept, 2003).
OʼLeary, Daniel. Portland Museum of Art Biennial. (Portland, ME: Portland Museum of Art, 2003): 50.

Baker, Kenneth. “Domestic Space: not all neat and tidy”, San Francisco Chronicle (August 17, 2002)
Bierma, Paige. “The Familiar Yet Elusive Nature o f Domestic Space”, Digital City (August 2002)
Gaston, Diana. “Safe Haven”, Camerawork (Fall/Winter 2002): 38.

Falco, Lisa. “Manifest Rewards”, artsMedia (September 15-October 15, 2001): 12.

Silver, Joanne. “And Now Something Different: Beauty”, Boston Herald (September 29, 2000)
Hoang, Cuong. “Beauty is in the Eye of a Curator”, South End News (October 19, 2000)
Hill, Shawn. “Liking What We See”, Bay Windows (October 19-25, 2000)

Schade, Christopher. “Photographers Top Class of New Talents”, Austin American-Statesman (September 30, 1999): E8.
Cruz, Amada. New American Talent 14. (Austin: Texas Fine Arts Association, 1999): 7, 31-32.

Arts News TFAA (August, September, October 1998): 7.
“Solo Exhibition: Sarah Malakoff", American Photo on Campus (March 1997): 22-23.
“Annual Student Membersʼ Exhibition”, PRC Newsletter (December 1995): cover.

Grants, Honors, and Awards

Traveling Fellowship, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 2011
Featured Artist on Photographic Resource Centerʼs website- Northeast Exposure Online, 2010
Honorable Mention from Tod Lippy, Hey Hot Shot, Jen Bekman Gallery, New York, NY
Critical Mass Top 50, Photolucida, Portland, OR, 2009
Faculty Development Grant, Maine College of Art, 2006
Artist Grant in Photography, Massachusetts Cultural Council, 2001
Jean & Kahlil Gibran Award for Manifest 2001, Copley Society, Boston, MA
Juror Award from Deborah Kao, Photographic Resource Center, 2001
Honorable Mention from juror Amada Cruz for New American Talent 14, 1999
Purchase grant for films “A Few Repairs” and “Chloeʼs Brother”, The Video Slammer, Boston, June 1998
Jury award for “Chloeʼs Brother”, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1996
Grant from Electronic Imaging Exhibition jury for iris ink jet print, 1996
Chosen by Trevor Fairbrother, Barbara Krakow, and Mary Drach McInnes to represent the SMFA in the C.A.A. exhibition, “Selections from New England M.F.A. Programs”, 1995
Recipient of Graduate Fellowship, Smith Alumnae Association, 1994
Inducted into Phi Beta Kappa society, Smith College, 1994
Awarded high honors for Thesis Project, “Insides”, Smith College, 1994
Awarded Dana Grant for research project, “Tappan Project”, Smith College Art Museum, 1993

Recent Teaching Positions

University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, MA, Full-time Lecturer, 2008-present
Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA, Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography, 2007
Maine College of Art, Portland, ME, Assistant Professor of Photography, 2005-2007
Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME, Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography, 2001-02 & 2004-05
Brown University, Providence, RI, Visiting Assistant Professor of Photography, 2002-04

EYE BUY Sarah Malakoff...