Rachel Frank

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Rewidling Platte Clove, 2014 Performance With Fabric Mask © Rachel Frank
Sleep of Reason, Performed in 2010, 2011, and 2015 Performance Still With Fabric Masks And Sets © Rachel Frank
Pattern for a Yurt I., 2015 Cloth, Thread, And Glass Beads 73 X 58 Inches © Rachel Frank
Temple I., 2016 Glazed Ceramics With Cloth, Acrylic, Sand, And Wood Base 9.5 X 21 X 21 Inches © Rachel Frank
Temple II., 2015-2016 Glazed Ceramics With Cloth, Acrylic, Sand, And Wood Base 7.5 X 12 X 7.75” © Rachel Frank
Protective Cape, 2014 Cloth, Thread, Glass Beads, Horsehair 48.5 X 34” © Rachel Frank
Rewilding the Marshlands of New York City, 2015 Fabric, Thread, Plexi Glass Mirror, Wire, Wood, Wax, Acrylic, And Paper 20 X 38 X 33” © Rachel Frank
Mound, 2013 Fabric, Thread, Metallic Dust, Wire, Wax, Wood, Acrylic, And Paper Collaged Trash Items By Matt Bollinger 28 X 43 X 26” © Rachel Frank and Matt Bollinger
Lean-to (detail of mound), 2013 Fabric, Thread, Metallic Dust, Wire, Wax, Wood, Acrylic, And Paper Collaged Trash Items By Matt Bollinger 28 X 43 X 26” © Rachel Frank and Matt Bollinger
The Traveler, 2014 Hd Video Still © Rachel Frank
Tree, 2012 Wood, Cloth, Thread, Glass Beads, Acrylic, And Mixed Materials 36 X 65 X 23” © Rachel Frank
Quick Facts
Fort Thomas, KY
Lives in
Brooklyn, NY
University of Pennsylvania, 2005, MFA
Kansas City Art Institute
installation, performance, sculpture


My work uses sculpture, theater, and performance to explore the tensions between the natural world and the manmade, the animal and the political, and the past and the present. Themes of environmentalism and social justice are examined through narratives focused on memory, imagined landscapes, and loss. Often in my work, I think of memory as passages in time where emblems of the lost eras (bison, mammoth, ruins) can be reflected on in conjunction with current political or environmental concerns. At other times, objects themselves may express spatial and transformative power: a sculptural yurt can evoke the grounding relationships of past nomadic tribes to the cosmos, in stark contrast to today’s bureaucratic displacement of peoples. Political narratives and collective memory are also problematized as state-based violence and mnemonic prosthetics (the photograph) receive allegorical treatment using sculptural masks and tableaux vivants


Born and raised in a small town in Kentucky, my first exposure to the tableau vivant type of sculptural performance I now use in my art was through the Christmas nativity put on in the Lutheran church I attended as a child. The congregation was so small only four children were available to fill the parts. Every year, I would perform the parts for all the animals in the nativity making quick costume changes between a plywood sheep covered in fleece-like cotton balls to a donkey to a camel. I worked in close proximity to animals on family farms and as a horse trainer throughout high school and college. In retrospect, I find these experiences both working with and embodying animals influential to my current investigations and artistic practice.

I received my BFA from The Kansas City Art Institute and my MFA from The University of Pennsylvania. I have received numerous awards, including grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, and Franklin Furnace Archive.  Residencies include Yaddo, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, Sculpture Space, The Women’s Studio Workshop, and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. My performance pieces have been shown at HERE, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Select Fair, and the Bushwick Starr in New York City and The Marran Theater at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, among other places.