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Abigail DeVille’s work is comprised of archaeological constructs imbued with cultural and historical cues, referencing canonical sculptures from recent art history, contemporary social issues, and the movement of solar bodies. Her dark sculptural installations are steeped in destruction and decay, acting as reflections on social and cultural oppression, racial identity, and discrimination in American history.
Abigail DeVille is concerned with narratives of displacement and marginalization, and through her sprawling installations and sculptures, she gives pronounced physical presence to “invisible people” within the privileged space of institutions.
The notion of invisibility as a social condition has held much significance, particularly for black artists working after the release of Ralph Ellison’s seminal text Invisible Man in 1952. Ellison’s novel posits race, black-ness in particular, as analogous to invisibility. Abigail DeVille’s socially engaged practice speaks to Ellison’s original concept, and by extension interrogates poverty, disenfranchisement and homelessness, other means by which people and histories are marginalized and left unseen.
Abigail DeVille (b. 1981 in NYC); she lives and works in New York. DeVille has exhibited a growing constellation of site-specific installations in the United States and Europe. Her most recent exhibitions include Bronx Calling at the Bronx Museum of the Arts (2013), Future Generation Art Prize / Pinshuk Art Center, at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013), XXXXXXX, at Iceberg Projects, Chicago (2013), Fore, at The Studio Museum Harlem, New York (2012), Future Generation Art Prize Exhibition, at the Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev, Ukraine (2012), If I don’t think I’m sinking, look what a hole I’m in, at Night Gallery, Los Angeles, CA (2012), First Among Equals, at the ICA, Philadelphia, PA (2012), The Ungovernables, at the New Museum, NY (2012), Bosch Young Talent Show, at the Stedelijk Museum, s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (2011).