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Bruce Silverstein / 20 is pleased to announce The Key of Dreams, a photographic-based installation by artist Eileen Neff.

“[T]he appearance of the figure rediscovers its mysterious virtue when it is accompanied by its reflection. In effect: a figure appearing does not evoke its own mystery except at the appearance of its appearance.”   
                                                                                                                René Magritte

Drawing on a practice of constructed images, and exploring the poetics of perception and questions of presence, The Key of Dreams includes a selection of discrete images along with one larger picture of the pictures themselves.  Having borrowed the title from René Magritte’s painting The Key of Dreams, Neff has expanded on its conceptual framework to continue her photographic investigations, creating a labyrinthine cycle for the viewer’s reflection.  Each image not only decodes the others but also raises pertinent questions about its own elemental meaning. The proximity of the individual elements within the installation encourages cross-referencing and offers a continuous contextualizing and re-contextualizing of the parts, all the while challenging the reading of the installation as a whole.

Neff moves freely between generic representations  – tables, birds, and landscapes – and the sheer abstract play of other images, further bolstering the cycle of questions and sense of wonder. Within this process Neff’s images appear at once to be both moving and still, both two and three-dimensional, ultimately evoking what is both internal and external simultaneously. 


Neff’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions at institutions including P.S. 1 and Artist Space in New York, and The Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. Her work is included in many public and private collections such as the Pew Charitable Trusts, The Dietrich Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. A major presentation of her work will be on view at the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, Ireland, and at the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, North Carolina in 2009.

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