Abigail DeVille: Original Night
Eric Firestone Gallery's The Loft
4 Great Jones, 3rd Floor | New York, NY
October 28–December 23, 2022
Opening Reception: Friday, October 28 | 6:00–8:00 PM
Eric Firestone Gallery is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of paintings and assemblage wall works by Abigail DeVille (b. 1981). Debuting on October 28, Abigail DeVille: Original Night is concurrent with DeVille’s major solo exhibition Bronx Heavens at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, which opens October 12 and will remain on view through April 9, 2023.
DeVille is an American artist known for her large-scale sculptures and site-specific installations that incorporate objects, materials, and narrative elements native to the places of her presentations. DeVille’s work is attuned to the optimism, endurance, and ongoing struggles of African American communities. Found materials and detritus are used to unearth forgotten stories of communities of color—including those of her own family who were part of the Great Migration. She uses assemblage to reanimate, bring attention to, and amplify these voices.
For Eric Firestone Gallery’s exhibition, DeVille responds with paintings and assemblage wall works to poetry written by her Dominican grandfather, Francisco Antonio Cruz. The titular poem, “Original Night,” is found in his book Los Testamentos Infinitos 1970–76. Dealing with the mysteries of the cosmos, as well as the relationship between the Genesis creation story and art-making, this poem resonates with many of DeVille’s concerns.
Her paintings begin with found pieces of plywood and salvaged vintage canvases. These surfaces are modified, layered, and peeled back to reveal the narratives of their genesis. DeVille spent the summer of 2022 in rural Maine where she taught at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. There, at second-hand shops, she came across objects including African American dolls and antique tools. These items are also incorporated into the assemblage paintings. Through its singular materiality, tactility, and devotion, DeVille’s work gains poetic resonance.
About the Artist
Abigail DeVille (b. 1981, New York, NY) lives and works in the Bronx, NY. She received her BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology, and her MFA from Yale University. DeVille was a 2018 United States Artists Fellow, a 2017–18 Rome Prize fellow at the American Academy in Rome, a 2015 Creative Capital grantee, a 2014–15 fellow at The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and a 2012 Joan Mitchell Foundation grant recipient.
Most recently, she was the subject of the solo exhibition Abigail DeVille: The Dream Keeper, July–October 2022, The Sculpture Center, Cleveland, OH, which was presented with FRONT International: Cleveland Triennial for Contemporary Art. Abigail DeVille: Light of Freedom, October 2020–January 2021, was organized by Madison Square Park Conservancy, New York, NY and traveled to The Momentary, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR and the Hirshhorn Museum Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC.
Other commissions and solo museum shows include The American Future, November 2018–January 2019, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, OR; Lift Every Voice and Sing (amerikanskie gorki), December 2017–August 2018, Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami; Abigail DeVille: Empire State Works in Progress, October 2017, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; Abigail DeVille: No Space Hidden (Shelter), September 2017–January 2018, Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; and Only When It’s Dark Enough Can You See The Stars, April–June 2016, The Contemporary, Baltimore, MD.
DeVille’s work is represented in collections such as the Bronx Museum of the Arts, NY; Centre national des arts plastiques (CNAP), Paris, France; Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, CA; KaviarFactory, Henningsvær, Norway; Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, TN; Pinault Collection, Paris, France; and The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY.