MFA Summer Lecture Series: Eileen Neff '72

CBS Auditorium

The MFA in Studio Art program presents its 19th Annual Summer Lecture Series featuring noted visiting artists, faculty and alumni June 24 - August 14. For more information, contact MFA Program Director Erin Boyle at or MFA Program Coordinator Gwendolyn Kurtz at

Having formally studied literature and painting, Adjunct Professor and alumna Eileen Neff BFA '72 (Painting) has been working with photo-based images and photo installations since 1980.

Her recent solo exhibitions include the Bridgette Mayer Gallery, Philadelphia; Locks Gallery, Philadelphia; and Bruce Silverstein/20, New York. In 2007, the Philadelphia Institute of Contemporary Art exhibited a 15-year retrospective of Neff’s work, which in 2009 traveled to the Royal Hibernian Academy in Dublin, Ireland. Also in 2009, a 10-year retrospective of photographic work was exhibited at the Weatherspoon Museum of Art, North Carolina.

Other individual installations include the Philadelphia Museum of Art; the Rosenbach Museum and Library, Philadelphia; the Carnegie Mellon Art Gallery, Pittsburgh; Artists Space, New York; and P.S. 1, New York. Neff has been in numerous group shows as well, including a current exhibition at Twin Kittens and Marcia Wood Gallery in Atlanta.

Neff is the recipient of several awards, including a Pew Fellowship in the Arts and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and the Leeway Foundation. She's been awarded residencies at the Mac-Dowell Art Colony, New Hampshire and La Napoule Art Foundation, La Napoule, France. From 1989 to 2002, Neff wrote reviews for Artforum International and continues to write independently.

In addition to teaching in both graduate and undergraduate programs at UArts, Neff is a graduate critic in the MFA program at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

Artist Statement
As much as the landscape, I love engaging the conventions of seeing and picturing as a source of syntactical invention. The works move freely between the apparent ordinariness of a found image and sheer abstraction, sometimes appearing closer to painting’s pictorial strategies than what we expect from photography. Having formally studied painting before photography and poetry before painting, I consider the ideas and boundaries between disciplines to be fluid. In that sense, I’d like my photographs to quicken one’s sense of attention and presence, the way sculpture can.

Hamilton Hall
320 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
United States

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