EX: 1/30/2012
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Galerie Nathalie Obadia Paris
2016.01.23 Sat - 2016.03.12 Sat
Opening Exhibition
3 rue du Cloître Saint-Merri
18 rue du Bourg-Tibourg
+ 33 1 42 74 67 68
+ 33 1 53 01 99 76
Opening Hours
Monday – Saturday 11 am – 7 pm
Nathalie Obadia

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Cockeyed Eddie
[Press Release]

The Galerie Nathalie Obadia is very pleased to present Cockeyed Eddie, the third solo exhibition in France of the work of Edgar Arceneaux. Over the past fifteen years, this American artist has become one of the major artists in the US art scene.
Born in 1972 in Los Angeles, where he lives and works today, Edgar Arceneaux constructs drawings, installations, video and film works as complex arrangements of association that examine adjacencies and points of contact between implausible relations. He uses these techniques to tackle a broad range of subjects from epistemology, cosmology, and science to censorship, historical revisionism, social justice, and post-industrial cities. Arceneaux has created a large and hugely significant body of work that explores the interdependent relations between art and the social space.
Semi-biographical, Cockeyed Eddie explores the trajectory of this American artist through his complex family history. This scope of the exhibition, completely new in the artist’s work, is to explore the links of the individual through the family to the mysteries of the social body in an infinitely personal manner.

In the gallery, Edgar Arceneaux will present a set of glass volumes and sculptures, silkscreens drawings and paintings on paper and muslin – The Arceneaux Genealogical Faction Series – as well as a set of some 25 works on Plexiglas and mirrors. Seeing his works with “double vision”, he examines their conflicting perspectives and presents his individual works as fragments of stories. The relics and documents he presents play with the perception of the viewer, who is asked to experiment with the complexity of forgetfulness and memory both individually and collectively, at the same time that the artifacts confront us with our own imperfections. Triggered by the presence or absence of the viewer, Edgar Arceneaux’s works make reference to the writings of critic John Berger by reminding us that vision has a reciprocal (two-way) nature.

The medical term for the optical deficiency that Edgar Arceneaux suffered as a child is dipoplia – double vision, the central trope of this exhibition. This condition entails the simultaneous dual perception of a single object, creating two images that can shift horizontally, vertically or diagonally. This duplicity of representation is visually interesting insofar as the two images – though unaligned – do not have exact contours. In diplopia, when an attempt is made to focus on the outline of an object, this shifts away from the gaze and becomes blurred in the surrounding world.

Genetic in origin, this dysfunction is hereditary and can be traced way back in Arceneaux’s line of descent. In Cockeyed Eddie genealogy and heredity is used as formally as variation on a form. Of French ancestry, his forefathers were banned from Canada and entered the United States through Louisiana in 1765. The Arceneaux brothers were also some of the first French-Canadians to own slaves. Building on the project Drawings of Removal, begun in 1999, Edgar Arceneaux had traced his French origins to Beaumont, Texas, during an initial trip with his father.

With time, Edgar Arceneaux has become aware that the visual impairment he suffers had a profound effect on his interests, in philosophy and his conceptual thinking in particular. In presenting works that reflect this double vision – in Plexiglas, non-deforming mirrors and glass sculptures – Edgar Arceneaux tightens the bond that implicates the viewer in their contemplation, as they are in some way an incarnation of his own body. Veritable windows, they allow us a glimpse of the disjointed and fragmented reality of the gallery, and to catch the cacophonic echo of the themes and histories presented in the other works in the exhibition, at the same time as those from a stable environment.

Edgar Arceneaux was born in 1972 in Los Angeles (California), where he lives and works today.
A graduate in Fine Arts from the Art College of Design in Pasadena (USA, 1996), and the Fachhochschule Aachen (Germany, 2000), and with a master’s degree in Fine Arts from the California Institute of the Arts (USA, 2001), Edgar Arceneaux is one of the most widely recognized artists on the contemporary American scene.
He has recently had a number of important solo exhibitions, including Until, Until, Until… for Performa 15 New York (USA, 2015), Hopelessness Freezes Time 1967 Detroit Riots, Detroit Techno and Michael Heizer’s Dragged Mass at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst de Basel (Switzerland, 2011), Miracles and Jokes, Circle Disk Rotation and 22 Lost Signs of the Zodiac at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit (USA, 2011), The Agitation of Expansion at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia (USA, 2008), Snake River at the REDCAT in Los Angeles (USA, 2006) and the Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz (Austria, 2006), and An Arrangement without Tormentors at the Lentos Kunstmuseum (Austria, 2006).
He has also contributed to many group shows, in particular at the SITE in Santa Fe (USA, 2015), the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach (USA, 2015), the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in La Jolla (USA, 2015), the Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen (Germany, 2015), the Power Station of Art in Shanghai (China, 2014), Scotland’s Center for Photography in Edinburgh (Scotland, UK, 2014), The Studio Museum in Harlem (USA, 2013), the Museum Kurhaus Kleve, Kleve (Germany, 2013), the Nevada Museum of Art in Pasadena (USA, 2013), the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (USA, 2013), the Birmingham Museum of Art (USA, 2013), and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (Australia, 2012).
His work can be found in leading public collections, such as The Ludwig Museum in Cologne (Germany), The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (USA), The Museum of Modern Art in New York (USA), The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (USA), The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (USA), The Whitney Museum of American Art in New York (USA), The New York Public Library (USA), the UCLA Armand Hammer Museum in Los Angeles (USA), and the Museum am Ostwall in Dortmund (Germany).
Edgar Arceneaux has also been the recipient of various artist’s residencies: the Rauschenberg Residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva (USA, 2013), the Fellowship for the Visual Arts at the California Community Foundation in Los Angeles (USA, 2009), the United States Artists Fellowship of United States Artists in Los Angeles (USA, 2007), and the ArtPace Residency in San Antonio (USA, 2006). Edgar Arceneaux has won various important international awards, among which the very recent Malcolm MacLaren Award (USA, December 2015), the REDCAT Award of REDCAT in Los Angeles (USA 2012), the William H. Johnson Award in Los Angeles (USA, 2006), and the Joyce Award from the Joyce Foundation in Chicago (USA, 2005).