Matt Neff’s (Philadelphia, PA) work is concerned with historic and current negotiations of power and privilege in regard to race, gender and class. He refracts these ideas through multiple lenses: sensitivity to larger systems and processes; observation of interpersonal exchanges; and, self-exploration and examination. These layered thought processes are reflected in his approach to image making, both in concept and in form, and result in a body of work marked by a fragile impermanence. Formally, he is interested in the absence of image, anti-icons, and the repeated and shifting use of common materials which he transforms into substances imbued with mystery. He uses sugar, graphite, air and ash as pigment and subject matter, in a variety of print and photographic processes, to create overlapping and self-enveloping images which evoke visceral reactions and curiosity.
A skilled artist, printer and educator, Neff has worked on a number of important projects with institutions including the University of Pennsylvania and the Wharton Esherick Museum. Neff teaches and runs the Common Press at the University of Pennsylvania and in 2008 was awarded 2008 PennDesign Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching Award. Neff holds an MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, and a BFA in studio art and a BA in Art History from Indiana University. Selected exhibitions include: There is still time, Gallery MC, New York, NY; Page 179, Artforum, September 2013, Brennan and Griffin Gallery, New York, NY; Broad Spectrum, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, DE; In Front of Strangers, I Sing, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA; Sugarcraft, Chicago, IL; Natural Selection, Philadelphia Selections, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Pittsburgh, PA; and, Live With It, Emerging to Established: 25 Years of the Center for Emerging Visual Arts, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA. His work is included in many public and private collections including the Rare Books Library at the University of Pennsylvania.