I'm interested in telling invisible history
about groups of people that occupied
a space that no longer exists . . . .
~ Abigail DeVille
A plaster cast of her face is tucked into a planter, in the corner of a patio, into a trash heap she creates at a site where children play . . . The image belongs to artist Abigail DeVille, who transports her sculptures in a trash-laden cart she pushes through the streets of New York City, making "interventions" — the sitings of the casts — the means to draw attention to those she describes as "forgotten", people pushed out by gentrification and development. For DeVille, her art project is about both "[the] reclaiming of a space" and "an exercise in acknowledgment" of identity and culture. Her narrative is personal and ongoing.
Featured in the following Art21 video about DeVille's project is her work Harlem River Blues (2014). Born in the Bronx, DeVille, who describes herself as "an archaeologist looking for clues in contemporary society for the infinie and eternal"*, lives and work in New York.
View a slideshow of DeVille's artwork.
DeVille was a 2014-2015 Radcliffe Institute Fellow; her exhibition at Radcliffe, "The Day the Earth Stood Still", was on view from January 30, 2015, through February 24, 2015. She exhibits throughout the United States and abroad.
Earlier this year, DeVille was a Visiting Artist at Virginia Commonwealth University.
DeVille's work has been spotlighted in ArtForum, ArtMatter, ArtNet News, The Brooklyn Rail, and The New York Times, among other publications.
Abigail DeVille on Tumblr
* Quoted from Artist Statement at Rema Hortmann Foundation