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Born in Moscow, Russia in 1961.


1987 MFA from the Moscow University of Cinematography

Awards, Grants, Residencies

2008 Jerome Caja Terrible Beauty Award.
2007 Award of Excellence, Cash Prize at Northern National Art Competition, Nicolett College, WI.
Best in the Show, Cash Prize at Loyola National Works on Paper, Chicago, IL.
2005 Award of Excellence: 46th Communication Arts Annual Illustration Exhibition, CA.
Full Fellowship from Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, Taos, New Mexico.
Best in the Show “Dimensions 2005,” 40th National Exhibition, Winston-Salem, NC.
Award of Excellence: SDAI 48th International Exhibition, San Diego, CA.
2003 Full Fellowship from Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont.
1997 Grant from the Paul Beckett Foundation, Denmark / Spain.
1995 Gold Medal: Mid-Atlantic Watercolor Exhibition, Baltimore, MD.
1994 Merit Award: 36th Annual Illustration Exhibition, Society of Illustrators, NY.
1993 Merit Award: 27th Annual Illustration Exhibition, Society of Publication Design, NY.

2009 Paul Mahder Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
  • Nieto Fine Art, San Francisco, CA.
  • Fontbonne University Fine Arts Gallery, St. Louis, MO.
2009 Paul Mahder Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
2008 Paula Anglim Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
  • Micaela Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
  • Rotunda Gallery, USF School of Law, San Francisco, CA.
  • Franklin Bowles Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
  • SFMOMA Artists Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA.
  • San Diego Art Institute, 48th International Exhibition, San Diego, CA.
2005 Barbara Anderson Gallery: “Closer,” Berkeley, CA.
2002 Vorpal Gallery, San Francisco, CA.
2001 SFMOMA Artists Gallery, Four-artist show, San Francisco, CA.
  • Museum of American Illustration, SPD Gala Annual, New York, NY.
  • James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Morgan State Univ. Baltimore, MD.
  • Sloane Gallery, Denver, CO.
  • Springfield Art Museum, Watercolor USA Honor Society, Springfield, MO.
  • Lancaster Museum of Art, Lancaster, PA.
  • Russian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
1996 Hodson Gallery, Hood College, Frederick, MD.
1993 Galerie Francoise, Green Spring, MD.
1992 Zimmerli Art Museum, Norton Dodge’s Collection of Soviet Art, Rutgers University, NJ.

2009 Etnosfera Magazine: “Elena Zolotnitsky: Creativity-Is a Personal Affair” by Yulia Goryacheva, Moscow, Russia.
2008 7x7 San Francisco Magazine: “Watch This Space” by Christine Ryan.
2005 46th Annual Communication Arts, p.107.
2004 Green Mountain Review: Cover, Vol. XVII, No. 2.
2003 Baltimore Magazine: “A Selection of Contemporary Russian Artwork” by John Lewis, February Issue pp. 122-123.
2001 BOA Editions Limited: Cover for Parphenope by Michael Waters.
2000 NY Times Book Review Cover: “Thus Spake Beowulf” February 27th.
1999 BOA Editions Limited: Cover for Dusty Angel by Michael Blumenthal.
  • “Painting Composition” Rockport Publishers: Award of Distinction
  • “The Best of Watercolor 2” Rockport Publishers: Award of Distinction.
  • Intelligencer Journal “Happenings”, March Issue: “Bold or Fractured, Images From Women's Selves” by Jennifer Knopf.
  • Cover Story on “Creating Women,” Lancaster Museum of Art, PA.
1996 Frederick Gazette: “Six Very Good Reasons To See 'Made in the USA'” by Richard Lebhers on the Exhibition of Selected former Russian Artists.
1995 The Artist’s Magazine: “Rising Watercolor Stars” by Bebe Raupe, October Issue pp. 60-65. An Art Review featuring the top winners from 10 of North America’s most prominent Watercolor Societies.
1993 The Baltimore Sun March 11: “Zolotnitskys Blend Humor and Grimness, Go Figure” by John Dorsey. Art Review on the two-person exhibition at Galerie Francoise, Baltimore, MD.
1992 The Columbia Flier December 17th: “Two Russians make their points at CAC” by Mark Giuliano on a two-person exhibition at Columbia Arts Center, Washington D.C.

To me an innocent and blooming prepubescent girl is as enigmatic and mysterious as a fairy. Though such girls often keep their energy and natural beauty hidden behind some mundane activity – reading, playing cards, or daydreaming – their pristine vitality always seems to glow from within.

Flitting from interest to interest with burning enthusiasm, they remain blissfully unaware of their inner power. Shy and awkward, with limbs too long and eyes too dreamy, they are as endearingly funny and vulnerable in appearance as they are in state of mind.

Perhaps that is why I decided to become an artist about the same time I entered puberty. Even now, every time I offer up my creativity to the world for its judgment, I feel the same hesitation and vulnerability that a 13-year-old girl feels when she steps into a room full of strangers. When my own daughter reached 14 and began routinely daydreaming, I began painting nudes. Not standard, classical nudes, but those that blend erotica with innocence and vulnerability, nudes expressing the ever-changing bodies and feelings of a young girl.

Over the past few years my art has become increasingly personal and intimate, focusing more on a raw physicality of painting.

My favorite medium is Oil paint, either on canvas or on heavy paper. As I build layer on layer on contrasting hues and textures, I am driven more by my pursuit of the formal concerns of painting instead of by my desire to relate a narrative. Yet I remain always a figurative artist, one who feels a special affinity for the craft, subtlety, and peace of Flemish art and the art of Balthus. My goal is to create paintings that both are well crafted and probe deeply into the mystery of the medium itself, widening the spectrum of that which is portrayed.