Lisa Kereszi was born in 1973 in Pennsylvania and grew up in Suburban Philadelphia to a father who ran the family auto junkyard and to a mother who owned an antique shop. In 1995 she graduated from Bard College with a Bachelor of Arts, finally settling on a concentration in Photography after double-majoring for a time with Literature/Creative Writing, in which she concentrated on poetry.
After college she moved to New York City and worked as an assistant to Nan Goldin. In 2000 she received a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale University School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut. She has been on the faculty there as a Lecturer since 2004, and serves as Acting Director of Undergraduate Studies in Photography. She was appointed Critic in 2012, and Director of Undergraduate Studies in Art in 2013. She has also taught at the International Center of Photography and School of Visual Arts and has been a visiting artist/critic at the Yale School of Architecture, Hartford Art School, NYU, Massachusetts College of Art, Parsons, School of Visual Arts, Vassar, UNC Chapel Hill, Eastern Tenn., Pratt Art Institute, Lafayette College, among others. She was a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts MacDowell Colony Fellow.
Her work is in many private collections and in that of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Study Collection at the Museum of Modern Art, the Altoids Curiously Strong Collection of the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Norton Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, the Berkeley Art Museum and the Yale University Art Gallery, among others. Her work has been shown in group shows at the Whitney Museum, MoMA, the Aldrich Museum, the Bronx Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Queens Museum of Art, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Urban Center Gallery at the Municipal Art Society in New York, among others. She had solo shows in 2002 and 2003 at Pierogi in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. She is represented by Yancey Richardson Gallery in New York, where she had Winter 2005, Spring 2007 and Spring 2009 and 2012 solo shows. Other solo shows include the Galleries at Moore College in Philadelphia, the Alcott Gallery at University of North Carolina in Fall 2006 and also at the Matrix Gallery at UC Berkeley, the latter as part of her 2005 Baum Award for Emerging American Photographers.
Her editorial work has appeared in many books and magazines, including The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Nest, New York, Harper’s, TIME, W, The London Telegraph Sunday Magazine, Details, GQ, Black Book, Jane, Newsweek, House & Garden, Penthouse, Nylon, Orion, Bon Appetit, zingmagazine, Flaunt, wallpaper* and others. Her pictures regularly appeared in the New Yorker’s “Goings on About Town” section for several years. She was included in the 2003 list of the 30 top emerging photographers by Photo District News, and was granted a commission to photograph Governors Island by the Public Art Fund the same year, which culminated in shows at the Urban Center Gallery and the Mayor’s Office at City Hall and a 2004 exhibition catalog, Governors Island, as well as a permanent installation on the island. Recent curatorial projects include, Side Show, at the Edgewood Gallery at Yale, which investigated the intersection of carnival sideshow culture and visual art.
Four monographs are in print – Fun and Games with Nazraeli Press in 2009, and two with Damiani Editore: Fantasies in 2008 and her 2012 book, Joe’s Junk Yard, which was released in early Fall 2012. Released in 2014 by J&L Books is an artist book as an offshoot of the junkyard book, entitled The More I Learn About Women. Kereszi lives and works in New Haven, CT, and is working on a new series as a new mother, entitled Walking with Ottilie.