Eileen Neff: The Bigger World in Categories

14. Self Shelf
Self Shelf, UV pigment on dibond, 30 x 38 inches

Eileen Neff, a multidisciplinary artist with a background in literature and painting, has been creating “photo-based images and installations” since 1981. She recounts her understanding of poetry long before grasping painting. Her academic path led her from being an English major at Temple University, where she immersed herself in painting studios, to the Philadelphia College of Art (the recently closed University of the Arts). While teaching at a private secondary school, a tuition-free photography class captured her unexpectedly. “I began photographing pieces of my paintings and, before long, had convinced a couple of students to build a black and white darkroom in my apartment,” she recalls. This transition directed her focus to natural elements and interiors, subjects she still rigorously explores. Though she no longer paints, Neff states, “I still think more like a painter than a photographer; my photographs are still very driven by how a poem means.” Neff currently exhibits her work in In Some Light Reading, a group show at the Mitchell Art Museum featuring work by five artists and poetic texts by four writers addressing the life-making qualities of light. The show runs through July 7th.

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Amulets Ethereal at Barney Savage

Amulets Ethereal, partial installation view, photo courtesy of Barney Savage gallery

“Amulets Ethereal,” the thought provoking group exhibition curated by Jenny Mushkin Goldman at Barney Savage features works by Kharis Kennedy, Adam Krueger & Tableaux VivantsVictoria Manganiello & Julian Goldman, Qinza Najm, Cheryl R. Riley, and Ashley Zelinskie. The artworks in this show run the gamut from manipulated found objects, like Cheryl Riley’s old farm tools and Qinza Najm’s carpet, to fabricated sculptures like Ashley Zelinskie’s 3-d printed futuristic cyborgs and Victoria Manganiello / Julian Goldman’s computerized weaving; from wearable art like the sewn tattooed silicon mask by the duo  Adam Krueger and Tableaux Vivants to Kharis Kennedy’s mysterious painting of a masked figure with a goat. Collectively the artworks are recontextualized as open-ended ritualized objects and images endowed with the questionable power to shield the viewer from the most tenuous of perceived dangers. Continue reading “Amulets Ethereal at Barney Savage”