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Sam Erenberg papers, 1965-2012

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Erenberg (Sam) Papers

Biographical / Historical Note

American artist Sam Erenberg is a painter, bookmaker, filmmaker, and installation and performance artist. Born in 1943, he grew up in the Baldwin Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. His interest in art began after being inspired by exhibitions of Salvador Dali and hard-edge painting during the early 1960s. He enrolled in the Chouinard Art Institute (now known as the California Institute of the Arts) to study painting in 1965, and it was there that he met his wife, Elena Mary Siff. In 1969, they moved to the artistic community of Topanga Canyon, where Erenberg socialized with musicians and artists including Wallace Berman and George Herms. Inspired by a creative community, Erenberg worked on several films with local artist friends and reinforced his interest in filmmaking.

Erenberg received his BA in Art from California State University, Northridge in 1974 and an MFA from the University of California Santa Barbara two years later. In Santa Barbara, Erenberg became more involved with performance art and started making artists' books for his first performance piece. After graduate school, Erenberg became part of the exhibition committee for the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum and curated exhibitions for artists such as Chris Burden and Laurie Anderson. Erenberg was actively involved in the art community in Santa Barbara, where he also had several solo and group exhibitions. He continued to live in Santa Barbara with his family until 1993 and moved back to Los Angeles the following year.

Erenberg's films, installations, books, and paintings have been exhibited throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Central America and are included in collections worldwide including the Kunstmuseum Bern (Switzerland), Wexford Arts Centre (Ireland), and the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum. He currently lives and works in Santa Monica.

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