Rachel Phillips



Rachel began photography while completing her undergraduate degree at Skidmore College, graduating in 2005.  Her work has been shown widely, including recent solo shows at Catherine Couturier Gallery in Houston and Jack Fischer Gallery in San Francisco. Work has been included in many group exhibitons, including shows at the Institute for Contemporary Art in San Jose, The Phoenix Art Musuem, the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, Dina Mitrani Gallery in Miami, PhotoEye in Santa Fe, and Panopticon Gallery in Boston. Rachel's work has appeared in publications including Photo District News, American Photo, Black & white UK Magazine, Diffusion Magazine and LensWork, as well as online in Design Observer, LensScratch, the Huffington Post, LightLeaked, and Don't Take Pictures. In 2010, her series Field Notes was included in Photolucida's Critical Mass Top 50. She was an Artist-in-Residence at RayKo Photo Center in summer 2014, culminating in a solo show.

Rachel lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and in addition to art, she works from an 8x15 foot office built on a flatbed trailer teaching dyslexic and homeschooled children.



Divinations, Treadwell Press, 2016

FIXED, Rachel Phillips as Madge Cameron, Treadwell Press, 2015

Solo Shows

2015 From Time to Time, Catherine Couturier Gallery, Houston, TX


Paper and Silver, Jack Fischer Gallery, San Francisco, CA (two-person show)

Vanishing Point, RayKo Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2013 Field Notes, Catherine Couturier Gallery, Houston, TX

2012 Field Notes, Patty Look Lewis Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions


Found, Candela Gallery, Richmond, VA

Exhibition with Heidi Kirkpatrick and K.K. DePaul, Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami, FL


Comforts of Home, Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA

Evidence: Seen & Unseen, Gallery 1/1, Seattle, WA

Out of the Box,  a.Muse Gallery, San Francisco, CA

AIPAD, Catherine Couturier Gallery, NYC

Diffusion Magazine Invitational, Center for Fine Art Photography, Fort Collins, CO


Wordplay, Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA

Photo Objects, Photo-Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM


InFocus, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix , AZ

Historic Process/Contemporary Vision, Dina Mitrani Gallery, Miami, FL

Unbound II, Candela Gallery, Richmond, VA


Deck the Walls, Catherine Couturier Gallery, Houston, TX

Made at RayKo, RayKo Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Rachel Phillips, Lindsey Beal and Heidi Kirkpatrick, StoneCrop Gallery, ME

ArtPad SF at the Phoenix Hotel, Modernbook Gallery, San Francisco, CA

AIPAD, John Cleary Gallery, NYC

Processes and Dreams, Panopticon Gallery, Boston, MA


Collect+Connect, San Jose Institute for Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA

ReGeneration, a.Muse Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Field Notes, Matre Gallery, Atlanta, GA

Center for Photographic Art Annual, Carmel, CA

Across the Divide: Critical Mass Top 50


Por(trait) Revealed, RayKo Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Annual Alumni Show, Tang Museum, Saratoga Springs, NY


Magic in the Mix, PhotoCentral, Hayward, CA

It's Still Life, RayKo Gallery, San Francisco, CA

A River, Gallery One, Nashville, TN


Spectrum 21: Stanford University, Modernbook Gallery, Palo Alto, CA


Artists' Books: A National Juried Exhibition, University of Nebraska



This series “Divinations” physically adds new imagery to original 19th century cabinet cards using a transfer printing process. I was intrigued both by the beauty of the contact albumen prints, and by the mystery behind each portrait. An antique photo highlights many paradoxes: we can hold a face preserved across time and space, yet beyond the sharply detailed surface, the photograph is obstinately mute in revealing more.

Each work depicts a method of divination (fortune telling), conjuring the past in a method appropriate to the Occidentalism and supernatural obsessed Victorians. Beyond such well known fortune telling like palmistry, included are more obscure methods like dropping needles or watching fish.

Though this series pays homage to the people and photographs of history, it is not intended to be only retrospective. Considering the photographic fate of someone before the lens 100 years ago leads to questions of our own future which—though it hasn’t yet happened—will almost inevitably become part of the unknown past.  What will happen to today’s photographs? To those digital files, just numbers, residing in “the cloud”?  What, ultimately, will happen to us? Will we be known?  Will a photograph of us survive? Does it matter?

Field Notes

Certainly, home is a place.  It is also a place of mind.  For the spirit too, home offers familiarity and solace, shelter and rest.  Yet a house is not for hiding from the world; it has windows, and doors to enter but also leave by.  As a girl, I adored the Wind in the Willows where homes were in and of the landscape—built underground, along the riverbank, and in the woods.  A place where you can be still, letting the world come to you, watching birds fly by.

This series of photographs blends the domesticity of home with the joy of wilderness, the natural world.  The paper houses are built from letters, postcards and envelopes saved through the decades in old shoeboxes by my grandparents and discovered in their attic a few years ago.  The images are printed on old envelopes collected from around the world; artifacts from the last centuries.  What did the envelopes contain?  Where did they come from?  In whose mailbox were they delivered?  What stories do they tell?

Additional Information:

Website: http://www.RachelPhillipsPhotography.com

Associated News

Associated Exhibitions

2nd Anniversary Show in our New Gallery Space.
January 20 - February 17, 2018
Evidence: Seen & Unseen
Our inaugural exhibition which explores the revelations, mysteries and connections of photography as evidence.
December 13, 2015 - April 9, 2016