Carmen Perrin was born in 1953 in La Paz, Bolivia. In 1960, she and her family fled to Switzerland, where her father had ancestry. Perrin studied at École des Beaux-Arts in Geneva (1981), where she also taught from 1989 to 2004. She lives and works in Geneva.
Research is at the heart of Perrin’s sculpture, painting and drawing practice. In the 1980s, the artist was drawn to sculpting using industrial objects and materials and testing their synergistic potential. She shifted her focus in the 1990s, investigating the moving body, its perceptiveness and culture-mediated effects concerning its various public spaces and architectural contexts. The fundamental forces of materials, light and the way both categories interact are central to her art. Perrin has gradually created monumental, perennial outdoor structures as well as temporary, in situ installations. Despite the changing urban contexts, she has developed her vernacular based on the experimental use of materials, their (surrounding) volumes and her inscription in a chosen territory. Her current studio practice emphasizes linkages between drawing and sculpting.
Perrin has received several awards and prizes throughout her career, including the Prix Culturel by Fondation Leenaards in 2015, two artist-in-residence awards by Landis & Gyr Stiftung in 2012 and 1993, and the Prix Fondation Irène-Reymond in 2000. Recent installations were visible at Musée des beaux-arts du Locle (Switzerland), Centre Culturel de la Ferme-Asile (Sion, Switzerland) and Maison Clarté (Geneva, Switzerland). In 2019, she had a solo show at Kunsthaus Grenchen (Switzerland). Other solo shows include multi-media exhibitions at Art Bärtschi & Cie, now Wilde (Geneva, Switzerland) and Musée d’Art de Pully (Switzerland). Most recent group shows include those at Schlosskeller (Fraubrunnen, Switzerland), Cité de la céramique de Sèvres (Paris, France), Musée de Carouge (Switzerland), Musée d’art et d’histoire (Neuchâtel, Switzerland), Aargauer Kunsthaus (Aarau, Switzerland), Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France) and Art Bärtschi & Cie, now Wilde (Geneva and Basel, Switzerland). Carmen Perrin’s works have been acquired by several public and private collections, including Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), Fonds National d’Art Contemporain (Paris, France), Bank Julius Bär (Switzerland), Fondation BNP Paribas (Geneva, Switzerland), and Fundació Joan Miró (Barcelona, Spain).