Rachel Perry’s varied practice includes installation, sculpture, performance, photography, painting, and drawing. In response to trends she observes within contemporary culture, Perry often reconstitutes everyday materials in her work, such as supermarket labels, receipts, twist ties, and fruit stickers. Through reorganizing this material and the experiences of her daily life in visually surprising ways, Perry addresses a range of issues relating to consumerism and the business of living.
Her interest in how we consume, sort, process, and sift information, is apparent in the series Lost in my Life (2009-2012). These photographic self-portraits present Perry camouflaged in a space made from the materials taken from other bodies of her work, such as collections of cereal boxes, takeout containers, and aluminum foil. Both humorous and visually alluring, these photographs also speak to the ubiquity of consumer culture in today’s world. Her most recent series, Chiral Drawings (2014-2016), began as an attempt to make a drawing using every single pen, pencil, crayon, and marker that she owns. Limiting her expression to a single line with each implement, made with her left hand and then her right, the works have a mesmerizing quality, evoking measurements of time, such as seismographs or EKGs. As with Lost in my Life, in Chiral Drawings Perry reveals poetic qualities within seemingly mundane materials.
Born in 1962 in Tokyo, Rachel Perry lives in and works in Gloucester, Massachusetts and Brooklyn, New York. She holds a BA from Connecticut College and a Diploma and Fifth Year Certificate from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Perry has participated in exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad, including at the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston; The Drawing Center, New York; the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany; and the Beatriz Esguerra Gallery, Bogota, Columbia.
Perry was honored with the Anne Stark and Kurt Locher Fellowship in 2015, and the Cathrine Boettcher Fellowship in 2011, and is a three-time winner of the Massachusetts Cultural Council Award for Excellence in Drawing (2004) and Sculpture (2009) and Photography (2017). Perry's work is held in numerous public collections including the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts; and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Archives, Boston.