Adel Abdessemed installing his solo exhibition RIO at David Zwirner, New York in 2009
Adel Abdessemed, (born 1971 in Constantine, Algeria) is an Algerian conceptual artist who lives and works in Paris, France. He is represented by David Zwirner, New York, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv and Christine König Galerie, Vienna.
Abdessemed attended the École des Beaux-Arts de Batna, and Algiers, Algeria from 1987 to 1994. Due to political unrest in Algeria, he moved to Lyon, France in 1994. He continued his fine arts education at the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, before completing his studies in Paris, France in 2000. The following year, he enrolled at the International Studio Program at the P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center in New York.
Within a wide range of media (drawing, video, photography, performance, and installation), Abdessemed transforms everyday materials and images into unexpected, charged, and sometimes shocking artistic declarations. He pulls freely from myriad sources- personal, social, and political- to create a visual language that is simultaneously rich and economical, sensitive and controversial, radical and mundane. Many situations created by Abdessemed are based on singular and deliberate actions, or, as he calls them, acts, which are testified, more than documented, with videos and photographs, and are often later juxtaposed with a sculptural remainder from the action itself.
Abdessemed was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London, England in the fall of 2010. Other major solo exhibitions include David Zwirner, New York (2009), Heidelberger Kunstverein, Heidelberg, Germany (2009), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, Italy (2009), MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2008), The Common Guild, Glasgow, Scotland (2008), Magasin-Centre National d’ Art Contemporain, Grenoble, France (2008), San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California (2008), P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York (2007), Liberia Borges Institute for Contemporary Art, Guangzhou, China (2007), La Criée centre d’art contemporain, Rennes, France (2006), L'appartement 22, Rabat (2006), Fonds régional d'art contemporain d'Île-de-France-Le Plateau, Paris, France (2006), Fondation Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain de Genéve, Geneva, Switzerland (2004), and Kunsthalle Bern, Bern, Switzerland (2001). In 2013, "L'âge d'or," at Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, is his first solo exhibition in Doha.
His work was included in group exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum Luzern, Lucerne, Switzerland and the Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia in 2010. His work has been shown internationally in group exhibitions at prominent venues including Musée Maillol, Paris, France (2010), Académie de France à Rome, Rome, Italy (2010), BAIBAKOV art projects, Moscow, Russia (2010),The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2008 and 2009), The Power Plant, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (2009), Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France (2008) as well as at various biennials including the Havana Biennial (2009), the Arts in Marrakech International Biennale (2009), the Venice Biennale (2003 and 2007), the Lyon Biennial (2007), the Istanbul Biennial (2007), and the São Paulo Biennial (2006).
Criticism and controversy
Abdessemed is criticized by animal rights activists who say the animal cruelty depicted in his artwork has been inflicted for the sake of the exhibits. His video "Usine" shows video of pit bulls, roosters and other animals trapped in a pen ripping each other apart. His media exhibit "Don't Trust Me," which was supposed to be viewed at the San Francisco Art Institute, shows horses and other animals as they are slaughtered for consumption in Mexico. Protests and death threats caused the exhibit to be cancelled 5 days after opening day.
Abdessemed's artwork was a principal factor in the creation of the Humanitarian Art Ordinance, written by a San Francisco attorney Christine Garcia and passed in March 2009 by the Greater Valley Glen Council in Southern California. The motion was subsequently referred to the Los Angeles City Council for further consideration. The ordinance says artwork should be deemed illegal when the artist has caused, created or contributed to the crime of animal abuse for the purpose of his or her creation of the media or exhibit.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Adel Abdessemed.|
- Adel Abdessemed at David Zwirner
- Selected Press at David Zwirner
- Adel Abdessemed at Dvir Gallery
- Adel Abdessemed on Artnet
- Saltz: Adel Abdessemed's Fighting-Animal Video Sparks Art-World Uproar
- Animal Spirits by Ben Davis
- L'appartement 22, Rabat, Morocco
- Humanitarian Art Ordinance as passed by the Greater Valley Glen Council
- Adel Abdessemed: Situation and Practice at MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, Winter 2008-2009
- Situation and Practice exhibition catalogue published by MIT
- Boston Globe review of Abdessemed's Situation and Practice, 2008
- Adel Abdessemed: Dead or Alive at PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, Winter 2007-2008
- Dead or Alive exhibition catalogue published by PS1
- Abdessemed at 52nd Venice Biennale, 2007
- Adel Abdessemed: Dead or Alive, The New York Times
- Show's cancellation a rare case of artists advocating censorship San Francisco Chronicle
- Animal Rights Activists Fail to Close Italian Art Exhibition The Art Newspaper
- Exhibition review of Adel Abdessemed: RIO at David Zwirner, New York Artnet Magazine review by Ben Davis
- Exhibition review of Adel Abdessemed: RIO at David Zwirner, New York The New York
- Adel Abdessemed at NMAC Foundation Cádiz Spain
- Adel Abdessemed biographie