Elena Ochoa, Lady Foster

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Ochoa Foster at Ivorypress

Elena, Lady Foster of Thames Bank (née Elena Fernández-Ferreiro López de Ochoa) is a Spanish publisher and art curator, and formerly a professor of psychopathology. She is the founder and chief executive officer of Ivorypress.


Elena, Lady Foster taught Psychopathology at the Complutense University of Madrid for almost two decades. She was Honorary Professor at King's College London (UK) until 2001. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to undertake postdoctoral studies at the University of Illinois Chicago and the University of California, Los Angeles.

In 1996, in London, she founded Ivorypress, a private organisation that undertakes publishing and curatorial activities. Their premises include an art gallery, a publishing house and a bookshop focusing on photography, architecture and contemporary art. She remains its Chief Executive Officer.

She has curated international exhibitions in close collaboration with the Ivorypress team, including C on Cities (10th Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice, 2006), Blood on Paper (Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 2008), Real Venice (54th Venice Art Biennale, Venice, 2011), Real Venice (Somerset House, London, 2012) and ToledoContemporánea (Fundación El Greco, Toledo, 2014).[1]

She is a member of MoMA's Library Council and serves on the advisory board of the Prix Pictet photography award. As a patron, she supports a variety of museums and foundations including the Museo del Prado, alongside several international schools of contemporary art and photography, such as Spain's Academy of the Arts and the Cinematographic Sciences.

From 2021 to 2022, to mark the occasion of Ivorypress' twenty-fifth anniversary, she curated a multi-institutional exhibitions programme involving museums and libraries across Europe and the United States.

She serves as part of the Board of Trustees of the Serpentine Gallery (London, UK) as well as being the Chair of its International Council since 2017. Since 2016, she has served as a Correspondent Academician in Switzerland for the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando (Madrid, Spain). She has also been a Member of the Organising Committee of the Golden Trezzini Awards for Architecture and Design (St. Petersburg, Russia) since 2021. Elena Ochoa Foster is VicePresident and Trustee of the Norman Foster Foundation in London and Madrid. She is as well part of the Board of Directors of the American Friends of the Norman Foster Foundation.


She is included on the list of Forbes Magazine as one of the most influential women in Spain.

Academic and Media Career[edit]

  • National Award for Scientific Research. Entidad Abelló, Spain, 1984
  • Joint Spanish-American Committee, Fulbright Scholarship, Spain, 1985.
  • Research Grant, Veterans Administration and the National Institute of Mental Health, USA, 1986.
  • Research Grant, National Fund for the Development of Scientific and Technological Research, Spain 1988.
  • European Award for Mass Media and Television, Premio Ondas, Spain, 1990.
  • National Prize of the Royal College of Psychology for the Best Communication in Mass Media. 1991, 1993 and 1995.

Film Producer Career[edit]

How much does your building weigh, Mr. Foster?:

  • TCM Audience Award for Best Documentary at the European Film Festival in San Sebastian, Spain, 2010
  • First Prize of the Jury of Docville International Documentary Festival, Leuven, Belgium, 2010
  • Best Cinematography Award at the International Documentary section of the Sichuan TV Festival Chinese festival (SCTVF), 2011
  • Nominated for the Goya Awards in the category of Best Documentary, Madrid, Spain, 2011

Shooting the Mafia:

  • Audience Award Brussels International Film Festival, Brussels, Belgium, 2019.
  • Best Documentary Award Batumi International ArtHouse Film Festival, Batumi, Georgia, 2019
  • Guerrilla Staff Award Biografilm Festival, Bologna, Italy, 2019


  • Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award, Spain, 2016
  • Ibero-American Patronage Award, Spain, 2016

Personal life[edit]

She is married to the English architect, Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank.[2][3]

She lives and works between Switzerland, Spain, United Kingdom and the United States.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Profile, ivorypress.com. Accessed 17 December 2022.
  2. ^ Carpenter, Louise (1 October 2011). "Why Elena Ochoa won't let marriage to Norman Foster slow her down". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 6 July 2018.
  3. ^ "Elena Ochoa Foster — 'I am an agitator, to push the artist to go to their limit'". ft.com. 12 April 2021. Retrieved 30 April 2021.

General references[edit]

External links[edit]