For more than thirty years photographer Greg Conniff has focused his attention on the landscapes of daily life—from backyards to the rural countryside—convinced that those places and how they look are the soil into which we sink our roots as human beings and through which we develop our sense of home. Conniff’s black-and-white images point directly to the deep beauty of the ordinary world. They are part of his argument that the overlooked, the ephemeral, and what grows unmanaged along the margins play insufficiently understood roles in our ideas of place and our understanding of who we are.
A graduate of Columbia and the University of Virginia School of Law, Conniff came to national visibility with a solo exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1979. He has received a double handful of fellowships, including three from the National Endowment for the Arts, one from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and three from the Wisconsin Arts Board. Exhibited widely, his work can be found in numerous collections including the Corcoran, The Art Institute of Chicago, the Museums of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco, and the Center for Creative Photography. In 1985 Yale University Press published Common Ground, a book of his photographs of American backyards.
A native of New Jersey, Conniff moved to Wisconsin more than forty years ago. He lives in Madison with his wife Dorothy and is currently building a digital archive of his negatives—most of which he has never printed, some of which are a complete surprise to him.