Academic Profiles

Prof E Dreyer

College of Human Sciences
School of Arts
Department: Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology
Professor Extraordinarius


  • D Litt et Phil (Art History) (2002), Unisa. Title of thesis: Dystopia and Artifice in Late Twentieth-Century Visual Culture
  • International Diploma in Interactive Multimedia (1996), SCAN (media-gn), University of Groningen
  • MA (FA) (1993), Unisa. Title of dissertation: A hermeneutic investigation of the ‘parergon’ in artmaking with special reference to Anselm Kiefer
  • BA(FA) (1988), Unisa. Majors: Art History, Painting
  • UTLM (Teacher’s Licentiate in Piano) (1977), Unisa
  • HED (postgraduate) (1975), UP
  • BA (1974) (full-time), UP. Majors: Philosophy, French, Afrikaans

NRF Rating


Fields of academic interests

Research interests

  • Utopian studies
  • Contemporary art
  • Curatorial practice
  • African modernism

Field of Specialisation

  • Curatorial practice
  • Postgraduate studies
  • Practice-led research.


Book chapters:

  • Dreyer, E. 2013. Let sleeping dogs lie: Visual expressions of burial and loss of teleology, in Apocalypse: Imagining the end, edited by Alannah Ari Hernandez. Inter-disciplinary Press.
  • Dreyer, E. 2008. La fusion et pourrit: L'érotisme du couleur marron dans le travail de Marcel Duchamp, in Marcel Duchamp et l’Érotisme, edited by M Decimo. Dijon: Les Presses du Réel: 184 - 194.
  • Dreyer, E. 2007. Fusion and rot: The eroticism of the colour brown in Marcel Duchamp’s work, in Marcel Duchamp and Eroticism, edited by M Decimo. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Press:184-194.
  • Dreyer, E (Pretorius). 1987. The religious character of symbol in the work of Jackson Hlungwani and Francis Bacon with reference to the postulations of Paul Ricoeur on existential freedom, in Book of Readings for History of Art IV, Volume I. Study Collection, UNISA Library:101-184

Journal articles

Journal articles:

  • Dreyer, E and Naude, I. 2015. The liminal and photography. de arte 91.
  • Dreyer, E. 2012. Functionality and social modernism in the work of untrained South African artists. Third Text 119 (27, 6):767-779. Presented at the SAVAH/CIHA Colloquium: Art History in (South) Africa and the Global South, 12-15 January 2011.
  • Farber, LN and Dreyer, E. 2012. The diary of Bertha Marks as a heterotopia, as articulated in the artwork, The Futility of Writing. 24-Page Letters. Literator 33(1), Art. #29, 11 pages. 10.4102/lit.v33i1.29.
  • Dreyer, E and McDowall, E. 2012. Imagining the flâneur as a woman. Communicatio 38(1), April:30-44.
  • Dreyer, E. 2012. Mural ephemerality as a reflection of better-world needs. SAVAH, 5-7 July 2012, UNISA.
  • Dreyer, E. 2009. End-of-utopia, utopia-gone-wrong and anti-utopia in Dystopia. SAVAH, 9 - 11 July 2009.
  • Dreyer, E and Smith, AJ. 2009. Themes of the genetic engineering and the homunculus in Patricia Piccinini’s sculptural installation, We are family. de arte 79: 23-33.
  • Dreyer, E. 2008. Dystopia in Kudzanai Chiurai’s representation of globalising Johannesburg, in Representation and Spatial Practices in Urban South Africa, edited by Faber, L. Johannesburg: Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture’s Research Centre in collaboration with the editors of the New Encyclopaedia Project: 127-136.
  • Dreyer, E. 2008. Stigma, Crime and Money in South African Art Exhibition. International Journal of the Inclusive Museum Volume 1, Issue 3:107-118. Presented at the International Conference on the Inclusive Museum, Leiden, 8 – 11 June 2008.
  • Dreyer, E. 2007. Communality of identity in post-apartheid South Africa: the reception and consumption of the sculpture of Johannes and Collen Maswanganyi. The International Journal of the Arts in Society Volume 2. Victoria: Commonground publishing:13-22. [O] Available: Presented at the 2nd International conference on the arts in society, University of Kassel, Germany, 21 – 24 August 2007.
  • Dreyer, E. 2006. Case study: The nature of art consumption in Pretoria from March 2005 to July 2006 with reference to selected exhibitions. Title of conference: Transformation/s in visual culture. Proceedings of the 22nd annual conference of the SAAAH, SAAAH:112-119.
  • Dreyer, E. 2005. Articulations of the city as a gendered construct. de arte 71:4 -13.
  • Dreyer, E. 2004. Gender inscriptions in urban spatial articulations, presented during session Space and power, UP, 9 & 10 July 2004. [O]. Available:
  • Dreyer, E. 2002. reals illusions virtuality artifice. de arte 66:42-57.
  • Dreyer, E. 1995. Parergon. de arte 51:3-10.
  • Dreyer, E. 1993. Textually intertwining the idea of woman with deconstruction. Proceedings of the 8th annual conference of the SAAAH, SAAAH:123-130.

Professional positions, fellowships & awards

  • NRF Rated researcher
  • Full Professor and Chair of Fine Arts, UP (2003 – 2014)
  • Lecturer and later Head (1997) of Department of Art History, Visual Arts and Musicology, Unisa (1990 – 2003)
  • National curator of Klein Karoo National Arts Festival (KKNK) (2014 – 2015)
  • Founder and curator, Fried Contemporary Art Gallery, Pretoria (2005 – 2014)
  • Mellon project leader (Visual technologies: critical encounters), Faculty Research Theme, UP (2013 to 2014)
  • Mellon co-project leader of Theme 1: Cities represented: Arts and Culture. Capital Cities, Institutional Research Theme, UP (2013 - 2014)
  • De arte editorial board (2003 - 2013)
  • Image&text advisory board (2012 - 2014)
  • UP research award for publication (2005, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014)
  • UP research award for creative output (2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • CSD Doctoral research award (1996)
  • Finalist in the Unisa Chancellor's prize for research in the Faculty of Arts (1997)
  • Robin Aldwinckle award for postgraduate study (1992, 2002)
  • HSRC Research award (1992, 1996)
  • Finalist Brett Kebble Art Award (2004)
  • Finalist Absa l’Atelier Art Award (1987)
  • Finalist Sasol New Signatures Art Award (1987) 


  • Project 1: Curated exhibition. BRICS Capitals: Titus Matiyane’s panoramas. UJ Gallery, 7 October - 11 November 2015
  • Project 2: Forthcoming articles on nomadism, time and William Kentridge’s The refusal of time (2012)


Exhibition reviews:

  • Dreyer, E. 2009. Not to believe or not to be believed: A review of the exhibition, Traces du sacré, 7 May to 11 August 2008, Paris. de arte 78 (May):52-55.
  • Dreyer, E. 2003. William Kentridge at the National Gallery in Cape Town: a retrospective. de arte 68:50-51.
  • Dreyer, E. 2005. William Kentridge in Johannesburg: Retrospective exhibition at JAG. Art South Africa 4 (1, Spring). Cape Town: Bell-Roberts Publishing:64-65.

Book reviews:

  • Dreyer, E. 2012. Claudette Schreuders. de arte 85:92-95.
  • Dreyer, E. 2010. Home Lands – Land Marks. Contemporary Art from South Africa, 2008, edited by Tamar Garb. Catalogue for the exhibition at Haunch of Venison, London, 31 May – 3 July 2008. London: Haunch of Venison. 168 pages. de arte 80:74-76.
  • Dreyer, E. 2006. TAXI - 011: Willem Boshoff: Artist Book and Educational Supplement. de arte 73:64-65
  • Dreyer, E. 2006.Taxi 12: Sandile Zulu (Colin Richards). Tydskrif vir Letterkunde 43 (1):202-203.
  • Dreyer, E. 2005. TAXI - 011: Willem Boshoff: Artist Book and Educational Supplement. Tydskrif vir Letterkunde 43 (1). Pretoria: UP:199-201.