Kansas City Art Institute, 2003, BFA
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 peoples to the unknown, in stark contrast to today’s bureaucratic displacement of peoples. Political narratives and collective memory are also problematized allegorically using sculptural masks and tableaux vivants.
Born and raised in Kentucky, Rachel Frank received her BFA from The Kansas City Art Institute and her MFA from The University of Pennsylvania. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including grants from The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation, The Puffin Foundation, and The Franklin Furnace Archive. She has attended residencies at Yaddo, The Marie Walsh Sharpe Foundation, Sculpture Space, The Women’s Studio Workshop, and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her performance pieces have been shown at HERE, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Select Fair, and The Bushwick Starr in New York City, The Marran Theater at Lesley University, and most recently at The Watermill Center in collaboration with Robert Wilson. Currently, she lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.