Alumni Stories

Edgar Arceneaux

BFA 96 Fine Art

A Los Angeles native, Edgar Arceneaux was named one of the 30 most exciting artists in North America today by Artnet News at the end of 2015.

An artist who pulls from many influences and arenas of knowledge in his work, Edgar Arceneaux made the art world take notice with his 2003 Drawings of Removal installation at the Hammer Museum, which focused on the impermanence of work and memory through the constant re-rendering and re-assemblage of images and objects. In his 2006 Alchemy of Comedy . . . Stupid installation, actor David Alan Grier tested a comedy routine in a variety of venues. His first live piece, Until, Until, Until . . ., was for performance art festival Performa 15 in New York, at the conclusion of which he won the Malcolm McLaren award.

His most recent solo exhibition, in 2016, was Cockeyed Eddie at the Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris. Other solo exhibitions took place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s List Visual Arts Center; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Museum of Contemporary Art, Basel, Switzerland; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Lentos Art Museum, Linz, Austria; and Studio Museum, Harlem.

One of the artists highlighted in the 2008 Whitney Biennial at New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art, Arceneaux has art in numerous public collections, including those of Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Germany; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; New York Public Library; Museum Ostwall, Dortmund, Germany; Utah Museum of Fine Arts; and Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris. He has been awarded a Rauschenberg Residency, United States Artists Fellowship, William H. Johnson Prize, Artpace International Artist-in-Residence Program, Joyce Award, Creative Capital Grant, Banff Centre Creative Residency and other honors.

Over his career, Arceneaux has appeared in many publications and radio programs, including The Village Voice, Art in America, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Modern Painters, Artforum, KCET’s Artbound, ArtSlant, Los Angeles Times, The Detroit News, The International Review of African American Art, L.A. Weekly and The Guardian.

Arceneaux is co-founder and former executive director of the Watts House Project, a nonprofit which focused on revitalizing the neighborhood around the historic Watts Towers. Recently he partnered with the United States Cultural Attaché and the State Department on an arts-based housing project in Africa’s São Tomé and Príncipe.

A 1996 graduate of ArtCenter’s Fine Arts program, he received his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2001. He also studied at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in Maine and at the Fachhochschule Aachen in Germany. He is a visiting professor of fine arts at the University of Southern California’s Roski School of Art and Design, and he advises the city of Pasadena’s Cultural Affairs Division as an arts commissioner.

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