Yancey Richardson Gallery is pleased to present Chiral Lines, an exhibition of drawings by Rachel Perry Welty and the artistʼs fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. Fabricated from the collection of every writing instrument in her home, this group of ambidextrous two-panel drawings utilizes a set of self-imposed rules and the simplest of gestures: the line.
From the Greek word for hand, “kheir”, chirality requires an object to be distinguishable from its mirror image. Human hands are the most universally recognized example of chirality, although it is impossible for every feature of either hand to match despite their seemingly symmetrical physical appearance. Using both of her hands to draw on matching sheets of paper, Welty experiments in left brain/right brain dominance as she creates an obsessive and hypnotic display of shimmering, colored lines.
Throughout her career Welty has used familiar materials such as register receipts, price stickers, shopping bags, produce stickers, and Muzak to comment on how the banal minutiae of daily existence is the stuff of which our lives are made. For Chiral Lines, Welty scoured her home, studio and garage for every pen, pencil, marker and crayon. Assigning one sheet of paper to each hand and using each instrument only once, first in her left hand and then in her right, Welty drew a series of vertical straight lines in an attempt to create two mirror images. For each diptych, she creates a new order out of the gathered materials, carefully deciding which mark maker to use next to create a prismatic illusion from edge to center of each panel. Despite the consistently exacting mark of the tool used to create each line, Welty found it impossible to create the same mark with one hand as with the other. Upon inspection one sees where each line begins to waver from the straight edge of the paper, creating a ripple effect throughout each panel. As the drawing builds, the lines begin to tremble with a seismic quality, recording the history of the mark making, as well as the history of a household.
In the Project Gallery, Welty presents drawings made from fruit stickers she collects, slices and lays down, one sliver at a time, to form loose geometric abstractions or elliptical shapes suggestive of produce. Like the Chiral Lines, these brightly colored linear abstractions combine conceptualism with process to record a cycle of domestic consumption, obsessive collection and meticulous mark making.
Born in Japan in 1962, Rachel Perry Welty lives and works in Gloucester, Massachusetts. Her solo museum exhibition, 24/7, opened at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in 2011 and traveled to the Zimmerli Museum, New Brunswick, NJ, through July 2012. Weltyʼs work has also been exhibited at The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, The Drawing Center, New York, the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, the Krannert Art Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Kunstmuseum Bonn.
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