Erin O’Keefe








Born 1962 in Bronxville, New York. Lives in New York City.


Erin O’Keefe is a visual artist and an architect. Her work explores both the specific properties of photography and many of the material and theoretical concerns of architecture. She is in conversation with a lineage of photographers from Florence Henri and others in the early 20th century to Barbara Kasten, who started exhibiting in the early 1970s, to contemporaries who are also examining photography on an elemental level specific to the digital age.

Erin O’Keefe (b. 1962, Bronxville, NY) lives in New York City. O’Keefe received a Master of Architecture degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Cornell University. The artist’s work has been exhibited in the U.S. and  internationally at Wave Hill (New York), The Photographer’s Gallery (London), Seventeen Gallery (London), The Wing (Washington D.C.), Albada Jelgersma Gallery (Amsterdam), Kasmin Gallery (New York), Providence College Galleries (Rhode Island), and Sandra Gering Inc. (New York), among others. O’Keefe was awarded the 2019 NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship in Photography. O’Keefe’s work has been reviewed or featured in Artforum, The Paris Review, Harper’s Magazine, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Vogue, VICE Magazine, and Paper Journal. O’Keefe’s work is in museum  collections including the Mead Art Museum (Amherst, MA), Museum Voorlinden (The Netherlands), and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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Virtual Exhibitions:

Erin O’Keefe
Eye to Eye
Painters & Photographers
Providence College Galleries
09.04.2017 - 11.11.2017
March 18, 2021 Press

‘Flat Green’ (2020) by Erin O’Keefe acquired by the Museum Voorlinden

We are pleased to share that the Museum Voorlinden in Wassenaar, Netherlands has acquired Flat Green (2020) by Erin O’Keefe.

March 02, 2021 Press

Erin O’Keefe reviewed in Artforum

“I’m interested in finding/discovering/choreographing moments of uncertainty that exist in the image, but not in the ‘real’ spatial condition,” says Erin O’Keefe, erstwhile architecture professor turned full-time photographer of vision-confounding images. “You are left with just the image and its wrongness—you can never backtrack to compare, although the question of how it was made is still present.”

Read on Artforum.

December 01, 2020 Events

Erin O’Keefe in the Paris Review

Erin O’Keefe featured in the Winter Issue of the Paris Review! Check out the portfolio along with an essay by Kate Tarker.

July 02, 2019 Artists, Press

Erin O’Keefe in It’s Nice That

Erin O’Keefe is no stranger to It’s Nice That. She first graced our screens in 2014 and again in 2015 – like magpies we were instantly drawn to the bright colours and structural geometry that features throughout her work. And now she returns with her latest series, Built Work.

June 26, 2019 Artists, Press

Erin O’Keefe in artnet news

In the spaces between them, she creates worlds of color and ponders the nature of spatial perception, as three-dimensional objects are flattened into paintings or photographs.

Read on artnet news.

June 28, 2018 Events, Outside Exhibitions

Erin O’Keefe Featured in the Wing’s Feminist Salon Program in NYC

The concept is twofold, providing a platform for underrepresented and emerging female artists, and exposing members to new and inspiring works that might just end up on their own walls at home.

Read on Robb Report.

May 22, 2018 Press

Erin O’Keefe in The Village Voice

When I first walked into the gallery, I mistook Erin O’Keefe’s photographs for smooth-surfaced paintings, with an intense but exquisitely tuned palette and dynamic abstract compositions.

October 03, 2017 Gallery Meets World

Denny Gallery Launches Gallery Meets World Series with Katharine Earnhardt of Mason Lane Art Advisory Services

Denny Gallery is launching a new weekly series featuring some of our creative clients and partners. Find out what they do and why they collect.

June 07, 2017 Events, Press

Erin O’Keefe Reviewed in Artforum

It is this sense of quandary, in combination with the artist’s mastery of technical and formal principles—her ability to extract such a remarkable concinnity from the collapse of painterly, sculptural, and photographic effects—that makes these works so exceptional.

Read on Artforum.

May 03, 2017 Press

Erin O’Keefe Reviewed by Collector Daily

What distinguishes O’Keefe’s work is her unusual approach to interrogating abstraction.

April 26, 2017 Press

Q&A with Blouin Artinfo and Erin O’Keefe

Picking up in the tradition of still life photographers such as Barbara Kasten and Jan Groover, as well as sculptors like Brancusi and David Smith who used photography to explore the perspectival limitations of their own work, Erin O’Keefe makes pictures that reinvent physical space.

April 28, 2016 Press

Erin O’Keefe interviewed by Artspace

I make work as a way of asking questions about how we see, and particularly how we perceive space. My background in architecture is essential to this, and makes those questions feel both more urgent and more pervasive. I remember in kindergarten, being asked what I wanted to be, and answering “artist.”

Read on Artspace.

April 23, 2016 Press

Erin O’Keefe at Wave Hill reviewed in Musée Magazine

Read on Musee Magazine. April 23, 2016 (NOT SO) STILL LIFE AT WAVE HILL (Not So) Still Life presents novel ways that contemporary artists are transforming the still life genre to engage with current culture. As a subject, the still life gained popularity in the Early Renaissance as an alternative to landscape, portraiture or religious subjects. Compositions of natural and inanimate objects were often presented with allegorical connotations. Today, artists are creating new variations by working in photography and sculpture…Read More

February 01, 2016 Press

Erin O’Keefe in Paper Sea

The Flatness A Conversation with American Photographer Erin O’Keefe By Hudson Brown, February Issue Erin O’Keefe is an American photographer who has beautifully translated her two decades experience as an architect into her image making. View article HERE.

October 07, 2015 Press

Erin O’Keefe’s Things as They Are in The New Yorker

Read in The New Yorker. Printed in the October 5, 2015 Issue. ERIN O’KEEFE September 9, 2015 – October 10, 2015 Photographs of geometric arrangements of painted boards and tinted Plexiglas will inevitably draw comparisons to Barbara Kasten’s influential oeuvre. O’Keefe, a New York artist and architect, nods to Kasten (and to Eileen Quinlan and Sara VanDerBeek) but stakes her own claim to the territory—call it Bauhaus playhouse—in a series of seductively simple color images. Using reflected light and overlapping colors,…Read More

October 07, 2015 Press

Erin O’Keefe on Style No Chaser

Read on Style No Chaser. HOLY SHIT! Erin O’Keefe at Denny Gallery By Efrem Zelony-Mindell, October 4, 2015 Leaving Erin O’Keefe’s studio, facing a long train ride home, I opened my issue of Art In America. Two pages in and wait – what am I doing? I want to start writing about O’Keefe! Her light and color drive a hunger inside, and to feast on her elaborate constructions reward. Establishing depth, and weight for a two dimensional surface is no…Read More

September 26, 2015 Press

Erin O’Keefe Interviewed by Gorky’s Granddaughter

Watch on Gorky’s Granddaughter Erin O’Keefe at Denny Gallery, Sept 2015 By Zachary Keeting, Posted on September 25, 2015  

September 17, 2015 Press

Erin O’Keefe’s Things as They Are in Collector Daily

Read on Collector Daily. Erin O’Keefe, Things as They Are @Denny By Loring Knoblauch, September 15, 2015 JTF (just the facts): A total of 13 color photographs, framed in white and unmatted, and hung against white walls in the two room gallery space. All of the works are archival pigment prints mounted on museum board or Sintra, and were made in 2015. The ten prints in the main gallery (from the Things As They Are series) are each sized 20×16,…Read More

September 11, 2015 Press

Erin O’Keefe named PDN’s Photo of the Day

Read on PDN Erin O’Keefe: Perspective, Light, Color September 9, 2015 Photographer Erin O’Keefe is fascinated by the way the camera “translates a three-dimensional subject into two-dimensional image.” A licensed architect who made sculptures before she devoted herself to photography about five years ago, O’Keefe composes the elements in her still lifes in a way that confuses perspective. Images in her newest series, “Things as They Are,” opening tonight at Denny Gallery in New York, are elegantly simple: They are…Read More

September 09, 2015 Press

Interview with Erin O’Keefe and Matthew Leifheit in Paper Journal

Read on Paper Journal Studio Visit: Erin O’Keefe Interview by Matthew Leifheit, Published September 9, 2015 Erin O’Keefe is a studio artist who has taken 800 pictures of a corner in her studio since last year. It’s not that she finds the corner itself particularly beautiful, it’s just a space that—when customised with very deliberate combinations of colours and materials, lit precisely, and photographed in an exacting way—can transcend its materials and become an otherworldly experience that challenges traditional perceptions…Read More

June 27, 2014 Press

Frameshift reviewed on Collector Daily

One of the prevailing (and surprisingly durable) trends out on the leading edge of contemporary photography is the ongoing exploration of photographic uncertainty, the place we end up when proof and evidence break down.

June 24, 2014 Press

Frameshift featured by Musee Magazine

Denny Gallery presents “Frameshift,” curated by useful pictures, an artist-run investigation into the future of photographic practice. “Frameshift” focuses on the blending of classic photography and the digital world. The images are each manipulated via encoding, scanning, embedding or altering context.

Erin O’Keefe
Virtual: Eye to Eye
October – November 2019


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