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Abigail DeVille

Updated: Jul 5, 2020

Abigail DeVille is an Artist who gathers objects and pieces of scrap to create her piece. She focuses on installations, and they look messy, but that’s what she’s looking for because she believes it’s the way people are. She usually also makes sure it’s close or relevant to something historic to related to what she stands for. She is trying to have people realize or remember what happened to the African Americans when they were in slavery.

While watching the short video, I was shocked myself to find out that the wooden teeth that George Washington had belonged to slaves. Seeing the museum made for people to walk through to see the suffering they went through. We really do forget our history and Abigail is creating something important in making people understand our history in a different way or help them capture something that they couldn’t see before. Unfortunately, our public-school system while I was growing up didn’t teach African American history, I remember it as quick as one lecture about Martin Luther King, and then we move on to the next subject. Abigail made an installation sculpture at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, and it’s a large wooden skeletal piece. She put it here because it’s the landmark courthouse of the ruling Dred Vs. Sandford that slaves couldn’t ever gain American citizenship.

Abigail is born and still resides in New York. She got her Fashion Institute of Technology degree at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine and then proceeded to get her MFA from Yale. With that, she stayed in New York and built her career there.

I’m glad that we have an artist like Abigail Deville out there because we need to know more information about our history and the truth even if it’s ugly. People live in a society that you must be hungry to find out on your own because the public system gives you the bare minimum to get by. This type of contemporary art is relevant today because of the way people are categorizing themselves, and separate and distance themselves. People don’t want to question or find out our differences? For the reasons of not understanding one and another? maybe fearing another culture? All these questions are what Abigail Deville is helping people answer. She’s bringing her political views and history and get people to recognize what happened in their past that maybe they didn’t know before. Abigail not only chooses her historical places carefully but the way she pieces everything together looks like a mess, but it’s done that way purposely. Since most of her gatherings for her artwork is usually junkyard objects, they are not attractive from the start, but the way she puts it together is what molds it to be eye-catching and dark.


“Abigail DeVille.” Art21. Accessed July 5, 2020.

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