Eileen Neff conflates physical and photographic space in artworks that challenge the ways in which photography mediates perception. Her interest surrounds the overlapping of landscape and studio space, inside and outside, as she questions the relationship between image and subject matter. When not in the landscape, Neff works in and from her studio, which she describes as not just a place but also a frame for a heightened form of attention. In it, she constructs works that collapse or combine the various formats and exhibition spaces in which her images are created and presented. Her interest in questioning ideas of presentation and display assures that each piece she conceives is mindful of the space in which it will be exhibited and the viewer’s experience of the work in that specific location.
Neff was born in 1945 in Philadelphia. She first studied English Literature and earned her B.A. from Temple University. Neff then trained as a painter in the Philadelphia College of Art and the Tyler College of Art from which she respectively received a B.F.A and an M.F.A. She has won many awards including fellowships from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, Pew Fellowships in the Arts, and a Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography. She had her first solo exhibition with Bruce Silverstein in 2008, and her second in 2014.
Recent solo shows include the Weatherspoon Art Museum, Locks Gallery, Philadelphia, The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin Ireland, and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, among others. She has had numerous exhibitions such as Carnegie Mellon Art Gallery, Pittsburgh; Philadelphia Museum of Art; P.S. 1 and Artists Space, New York; The Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin; Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts; and The Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia. Neff was a contributor to Artforum International from 1989-2002.
Her work is held in many important institutions and private collections including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, The Hood Museum, Pew Charitable Trusts, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and The Dietrich Foundation. She lives and works in Philadelphia.