What is my work about?
I am an archeologist looking for clues in contemporary society for the infinite and eternal. In my work I am looking to reconcile two spatial relationships, the claustrophobic spaces of urban interiors and the infinite expanse of the universe. Through the poetry of everyday experience and American history I create black hole room-sized sculptures that speak to different strands in American society?s material culture. Black holes are containers that are laden with forgotten information, the absence of light, power, knowledge and the harbinger of historical inaccuracies. I use celestial forms to think about our place in history, that links us to the beginning of time. Garbage contains the material history of the present and links to the past.
The original night
Has not loosened up
its hard mysterious bones
not even the first day has spilled
about unbelievable things
Not a planet
releases its timid presence
In the infinite skies
Not even a brief thread
Of brilliance from a star
Scratches the thick foliage
Of the dense shade”
–Francisco Antonio Cruz, Genesis (excerpt), 1970-76
“These undecipherable markings on the captive body render a kind of hieroglyphics of the flesh whose severe disjunctures come to be hidden to the cultural seeing by skin color. We might well ask if this phenomenon of marking and branding actually “transfers” from one generation to another, finding its various symbolic substitutions in an efficacy of meanings that repeat initiating moments?”
– Hortense J. Spillers
Genetic material and coding that inscribes who we are on a molecular level are records of time. Our bodies are the agents and witnesses of time. We are ancient. The same elements that were dispersed within the first moment after the big bang are the same elements that are found in our bodies. Thinking about the wisdom of the universe that’s locked within us, I search as an archeologist looking for clues in contemporary society for the infinite and eternal. In my work I am looking to reconcile two spatial relationships, the claustrophobic spaces of urban interiors and the infinite expanse of the universe. Through the poetry of everyday experience and American history I create black hole room-sized sculptures that speak to different strands in American society’s material culture. Black holes are containers that are laden with forgotten information, the absence of light, power, knowledge and the harbinger of historical inaccuracies. I use celestial forms to think about our place in history, that links us to the beginning of time. Garbage contains the material history of the present and links to the past.
Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT, MFA. Major: Painting
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Madison, ME
Fashion Institute of Technology, New York, NY, BFA (’09), (AAS ’06)
Pratt Institute, New York, NY. Completes 32 Credits. Major: Illustration
Prophetika Search for Meaning. Byerly Gallery, Radcliffe Institute, Cambridge, MA.
Puddle, pothole, portal. Sculpture Center, Long Island City, NY.
Cousin Suzy and the Infinite Deep. Marginal Utility, Philadelphia, PA.
The New Migration. DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Anacostica, DC
Material Histories. The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.
Home. Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York, NY.
Sensitive Instruments, Corbett vs. Dempsey, Chicago, Illinois.
Rites of Spring. Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston, Texas.
Guts. Abrons Art Center, Henry Street Settlement, New York, NY.
Black in the Abstract. Contemporary Art Museum Houston, Houston, Texas.
Invisible Men: Beyond the Veil. Galerie Michel Rein, Paris, France.
Gastown Follies. Artspeak, Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Who Wants Flowers When You’re Dead? The Poor Farm, Little Wolf, Wisconsin.
Bronx Calling: The Second AIM Biennial. Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY.
Future Generation Prize Exhibition. The 55th Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy.
They might as well have been remnants of the boat. Calder Foundation, New York, NY.
XXXXXXX. Iceberg Projects, Rogers Park, Chicago, Illinois.
Njideka Akunyili & Abigail DeVille: New Paintings, Gallery Zidoun, Luxembourg.
Fore. The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York, NY.
Future Generation Prize Exhibition. Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine.
Space Invaders. Lehman College Gallery, Bronx, NY.
If I don’t think I’m sinking, look what a hole I’m in. Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
First Among Equals. Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia, PA
Invisibility Blues II. M55 Gallery, Long Island City, NY.
Invisibility Blues. Recess Gallery, The Dependent Art Fair, New York, NY.
The Ungovernables. The New Museum Triennial, New York, NY.
Bosh Young Talent Show. Stedelijk Museum, ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.
The (S) Files 2011. El Museo del Barrio, New York, NY.
The Un-nameable Frame. MFA 2011 Thesis Exhibition, Green Gallery, New Haven, CT.
Reflecting Abstraction. Vogt Gallery, New York, NY.
Bonzai. Red Lotus Room, Brooklyn, NY.
Planet of Slums. Mason Gross Galleries, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
Dark Star. Recess Gallery. New York, NY.
Critical Perspectives. Green Gallery. New Haven, CT.
Gold Mountain. Marginal Utility. Philadelphia, PA.
Rompe Puesto. The Bronx River Art Center. Bronx, New York.
How the Other Half Lives. Green Gallery. New Haven, CT.
A proposito: Pan Latino Dialogues. Ely House. New Haven, CT.
The Open. Deitch Studios. New York, NY.
Black Gold. The Bronx River Art Center. Bronx, New York.
Bronx Council of the Arts Open Studio Tour. Haven Gallery. Bronx, New York.
The Bronx River Art Center. Bronx, New York.
DK Magazine. Pro qm. Berlin, Germany
Fine Arts BFA 2007 Thesis Exhibition. The Museum at F I T. New York, NY.
CAA & NYCAMS BFA Exhibition. New York Center for Art & Media Studies. New York, NY.
Selections 2006. Fashion Institute of Technology. New York, NY.
ArtStar. Deitch Projects. New York, NY.
“Beyond Shakespeare’s Wildest Dreams”, by Charles Isherwood, The New York Times, August 12, 2014
“Stratford Festivals A Midsummer Nights Dream: A Chamber Play”, by Lauren Glenow, broadwayworld.com, August 2, 2014
“Dream fulfilled: You have to see Stratford’s radical rethink of Shakespeare”, by J. Kelly Nestruck, The Globe And Mail, July 25, 2014
“Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Stratford: like you’ve never seen before”, by Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star, July 25, 2014
“Two Works Share a Common Thread.” By Molly Glentzer, The Houston Chronicle, January 31, 2014
“She Talks to Beethoven is a Fever Dream of a Play.” By Jason Fitzgerald, The Village Voice, January 22, 2014
“Abigail DeVille’s Cosmic Cacophony Heads To Harlem”, by Priscilla Frank, Huffington Post, September 5, 2013
“Studio Museum in Harlem Names Three Resident Artists for 2013-14”, by Benjamin Sutton, Blouin ARTINFO.com, August 21, 2013
“By Appointment Only: Viewing Art Privately in Chicago”, by Jason Foumberg, Art in America, July 10, 2013
“Art and Ageism: The Decisive Eye of Fellow Artists”, NY Arts, June 2013
“Future Generation Art Prize Goes To Venice For First Global Event”, ArtLyst, May 20, 2013
“Abigail DeVille, Iceberg Projects”, by Alicia Eler, artforum.com/critics’ picks, May 14, 2013
“Fore”, by Lloyd Wise, Artforum, May 2013
“Review: Abigail DeVille/Iceberg Projects”, by B. David Zarley, Newcity Art, April 23, 2013
“Eye Exam: New Moves in Chicago Sculpture”, by Jason Foumberg, Newcity Art, April 16, 2013
“Edition #7”, by Caroline Picard, Bad At Sports- contemporary art talk, April 15, 2013
“Racial Redefinition in Progress ‘Fore’ at Studio Museum in Harlem”, by Holland Cotter, The New York Times, November 29, 2012
“6 From Fore”, Modern Painters, November 2012
“Artistic invasion of Lehman College life”, by Adam Wisnieski, The Riverdale Press, October 11, 2012
“Space Invaders arrive”, by Robin Elisabeth Kilmer, The Bronx Free Press, October 10-16, 2012, Volume 3- No.41
“The Ungovernables”, by Suzanne Cotter, Artforum, May 2012.
“Review: The Ungovernables”, by Howard Halle, Time Out New York, April 3, 2012
“Eight Hours at the Comfort Inn”, by Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine, March 18, 2012
“The Ungovernables is more serious…”by Max Rosenberg, CAPITAL, February 17, 2012
“Quiet Disobedience”, by Holland Cotter, The New York Times, February 16, 2012
“Mob of People Packs Into New Museum for Opening of ‘The Ungovernables”, Observer.com, February 15, 2012
“Local Talent Leads Downtown Triennial”, by Kimberly Chou, The Wall Street Journal, February 10, 2012
“30 Artists to Watch in 2012: Part 1”, by Jason Stopa, Kate Meng & Leah Schlackman
Exhibitions of style; celebrating Hispanic art in New York by Gorgett Roberts, NY Post, September 21, 2011
“Reflecting Abstraction”, by Corrine Fitzpatrick, artforum.com/critics’ picks
“Abigail D. DeVille’s America”, by Alexi Kukuljevic, Machete, Vol. 1 No.11, September 2010
“Art: Gold Mountain”, by Roberta Fallon, Philadelphia Weekly, August 24, 2010
“First Friday” We kvetch, we look, we clap”, by Roberta Fallon & Libby Rosof, theartblog.org, August 10, 2010
“The Art of Reality TV,” Interview, August 2006.
“Project Deitch,” Black Book, July 2006.
“All Most Famous,” Nylon, July 2006.
“Art Talk: Famous in Eight Episodes?” Art News, June 2006.
“Reality Show ArtStar to Begin on the Dish Network,” Artdaily.com, May 30, 2006.
ArtStar on Gallery HD: The Art World Tries Realism (the TV kind),” The New York Times, May 28, 2006.
“ArtStar: A Deitch Project for the Television Masses,” Artinfo.com, May 25, 2006.
“Art World Idol,” TimeOut New York, May 11, 2006.
“Reality Bites,” by Michael Wang, Artforum, May 17, 2006.
“Future, Unscripted Fall Pilots: Real Deal, or No Deal?” By Joy Press Village Voice, May 9, 2006.
“Fly on the Wall Street,” Art Review, January/February 2006.
“Because at Least One Person on This Page Will be Justly Famous by 2010,” by Sarah Bernard, New York Magazine, December 26, 2005.
“The Dye is Cast,” by Michael Wang, Artforum, March 4, 2005.
“Reality (on TV) Reaches Art World,” by Randy Kennedy, The New York Times, March 2, 2005.
Awards, Grants, Fellowships & Residencies
The Radcliffe Institute for Advance Study Fellowship, Cambridge, MA
The Studio Museum of Harlem Artist in Residence, New York, NY
The Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant, New York, NY
Artist in the Marketplace, Bronx Museum of Art, Bronx, NY
LMCC Swing Space Resident Governors Island, New York, NY
Recess in Red Hook, Artist in Residence, Brooklyn, NY
The Edward and Sally Van Lier Fund of the New York Community Trust.
International Studio and Curatorial Program, Brooklyn NY
Alice Kimball Traveling Fellowship, Yale School of Art, New Haven, CT
Camille Hanks Cosby Fellowship, Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, Maine
The Frank Shapiro Memorial Award 2005 for Excellence in Fine Arts
Prophetika, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite, La Mama, New York, NY, March 2015
A Mid Summer Nights Dream, by William Shakespeare, directed by Peter Sellers, Stratford Festival, Stratford, Ontario, Canada, July 11- September 20, 2014
She Talks to Beethoven, by Adrienne Kennedy, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite, Jack performance space, Brooklyn, NY, January 16-25 2014
The Sun Ra Visitation Series (Pt.2) Sun-ology, by Sylvan Oswald, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, January 9, 2014
“Abigail DeVille’s Flair for the Dramatic” New York Close Up, Art 21, June 6, 2014
The New Migration, 5×5 Project, DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, curator Justine Topfer, directed by Charlotte Brathwaite, Anacostia, Washington DC. September 6- October 31