Philadelphia

Eileen Neff

Locks Gallery

In this exhibition of recent photographs, Philadelphia-based artist Eileen Neff bespeaks her interest in modernist experiments with the medium by deploying a panoply of photographic techniques—many of them digital. She applied these methods with great subtlety to images that refer to landscape photography, her genre of preference for the past twenty-two years.

At first glance, the elegantly spaced C-prints presented here appear to take moments of quiet and solitude in nature as their theme. Neff’s delicate manipulations of space and framing, however, submit photographic referents to doubt, so her argument, it seems, is that today such Romantic communion is elusive. Take, for example, the opening image, Under the Summer Sky, 2009, which features an empty cage at a zoo. The picturesque branches visible inside would pass for a patch of wild forest if not for the mesh constricting our view.

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