Having formally studied literature and painting, Eileen Neff has been working with photo-based images and installations since 1981. Her work draws on both historic and contemporary concepts of picturing the natural and constructed world, as well as being an investigation of studio practice itself. And increasingly, it has developed in relation to the sites where she’s exhibited, engaging forms of display and presentation as another, critical layer of consideration. The kind of heightened attention afforded by travel has also been a regular marker in Neff’s work, adding to the apparent subjects her expanded range of photographic and sculptural strategies employ; straight-forward representations, constructed images, and sheer abstractions reflect the breadth of pictorial approaches that seem increasingly necessary to make some poetic sense of her experience in the world.
Neff has been the recipient of several awards, including the John S. Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography, the Pew Fellowship in the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts Grant, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowship, and the Leeway Foundation Artist Grant. She’s been awarded residencies at Monte Azul Center for the Arts, Talamanca Mountains, Costa Rica; The MacDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA; La Napoule Art Foundation, La Napoule, France; and Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest, Clermont, KY.
Eileen Neff’s work has been reviewed in Artforum International, Art in American, Modern Painters, The New York Times, dArt International, Artnet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Photo Review, and Circa Art Magazine, among others. Neff’s work is represented in many permanent collections, including The Hood Museum; Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts; Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Pennsylvania Convention Center; Pew Charitable Trusts; Art in Embassies, Permanent Art Collection; The Fabric Workshop and Museum; The Dietrich Foundation; Banco Espirito Santo, Lisbon, Portugal; Mellon Financial Corporation; Progressive Corporation Art Collection; Pepsi Cola National Brand Beverages Art Collection; Glenmede Trust Company; The Bancorp, Inc.; and Temple University.
Eileen Neff is a Resident Critic and Seminar Instructor in the MFA Program at The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. From 1989 – 2002, Neff wrote reviews for Artforum International, and continues to write independently.