24 Oct - 23 Nov 2013
Invisible Men: Beyond the Veil
24 October - 23 November 2013
Galerie Michel Rein is proud to present Invisible Men: Beyond the Veil the first solo show of Abigail DeVille (b.1981, New York) in France.
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. Similarly, the writings of theorist Michele Faith Wallace, and sociologist W.E.B. Du Bois?s notion of ?double consciousness,? engage the idea of erasure and conflicted identities. 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.
In the gallery setting, installation creates a new space to consider what an art institution represents within a culture?a space symbolic of economic and intellectual privilege or a potential site for resistance through visual production. Artists who have been directly influential to DeVille?s practice, such as Edward Kienholz (1927?1994), David Hammons (b. 1943) and Ilya Kabakov (b. 1933), and those with whom her work has formal resonance, such as Arman (1928?2005) and Thomas Hirschhorn (b. 1957), have employed installation as a form of institutional critique. For DeVille, installation becomes a vehicle to move outside museum walls and discuss matters of personal significance?her own narrative and those narratives that have become casualties of circumstance. At times, she has referred to the framework of her installations as ?black holes . . . containers laden with forgotten information ?the absence of light, power, knowledge, and the harbinger of historical inaccuracies.?
For the exhibition at the gallery Michel Rein, Abigail DeVille will realize a site-specific project with new works from the ongoing series Invisible Men: Beyond the Veil that documents an American family?s history through discarded and reclaimed objects, paintings and collages.
Abigail DeVille received her MFA from Yale University in 2011 and her BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology in 2007. 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 at Venice, 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, 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).
Her work has been written about in New York Magazine, The New York Times, Artforum.com, Time Out New York, CAPITAL, Philadelphia Weekly, Interview, Black Book, Nylon, Art News and Paper Magazine.