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Looking Deeply: Richard Perry's Exploration of Gender in Relief

February 1- April 30, 2023

This exhibition was the result of Perry’s relentless curiosity, where positive and negative merge, where gender roles are fluid and evolving.

Experiencing one of Perry’s relief sculptures is moving in every way. The reliefs in this show, his second at the Museum, are mostly figurative and play with the viewers’ preconceptions, appearing to pop out of their frame, while in fact they are just the opposite, concave. To fully absorb the powerful dynamic of this illusion, the viewer should first observe each relief from a distance and then move sideways while looking at the artwork. In this way the figure appears to likewise move, following the viewer across the room. Finally, if the viewer approaches closer, the illusion will suddenly dissolve to reveal the actual surface of the relief. Parallels between the varied ways one can perceive these relief sculptures and the theme of the exhibition help to give this body of work on gender exploration potency.

Richard Perry lives life by looking deeply. This persistent intellectual drive has provided a unique perspective that, in turn, informs Perry’s artwork. This thirst for knowledge provides a common thread, bringing together a life with a surprising set of skills.

Learning photography and boat building from his father as a teen, Perry went on to earn a degree in Chemistry with a minor in Philosophy from Brown University. Perry then started a college photography business while earning an LLB degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1969, subsequently moving to NYC and becoming a Legal Associate at Fish & Neave, a pioneer of intellectual property law at the time.

While practicing at Fish & Neave, Perry studied drawing and painting at the Art Students League, sculpture at the New School, and art criticism at the Brooklyn Museum School. He became fascinated with Ancient Egyptian relief paintings and studied them in depth at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Perception and comprehension captured Perry’s fascination and he studied the physiology of the eye and brain at Flower 5th Avenue Hospital Library, all while continuing his law practice.

Richard Perry began to create experimental relief paintings in 1975, combining all facets of his varied life experience. His chemistry knowledge enabled the development of the plaster/paper/resin/paint reliefs that he is now known for, while his philosophy, work in intellectual property and overall life experience provides thematic substance.

Richard Perry relocated to Brewster in 1978, continued to practice law while taking art classes across Cape Cod, including with the founder of the Cape Cod Museum of Art, Harry Holl. Although retired from practicing law in 2013, Perry’s signature artistic methodology, self-proclaimed as “holographic” art, continues to develop.

In conjunction with this exhibition, Richard Perry will be taught a class in Relief Sculpture and Painting

from March 9 - April 13 in the CCMOA Museum School.


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