Edgar Arceneaux

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Edgar Arceneaux
Born1972 (1972)
Los Angeles, California
Alma materCalifornia Institute of the Arts

Edgar Arceneaux (born 1972, in Los Angeles) is a contemporary artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He is the co-founder of the Watts House Project, a non-profit neighborhood redevelopment organization in Watts.[1]


Arceneaux received his BFA from Art Center College of Design in 1996 and his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in 2001 after attending the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1999 and the Fachhochschule Aachen, Germany, in 2000 and 2001.[2]

He was the director of the Watts House Project from 1999-2012, and officially re-launched the organization in 2007 with Sue Bell Yank through the support of the Hammer Museum's Artist Residency program,[3] as well as a team of Watts residents, artists, community organizers, and scholars. The Watts House Project focuses on renovating residential properties and providing programs and venues for community involvement in the neighborhood around the historic Watts Towers.[4] The organization undertook its first remodeling projects in 2008 and was granted nonprofit status in 2009.[5]

In November 2003, the UCLA Hammer Museum exhibited Arceneaux's Drawings of Removal, an installation that combined layered wall drawings, sculptural ephemera, and a makeshift studio in "an ongoing exploration of memory through the medium of drawing".[6]

He was named a United States Artists Fellow in 2007,[7] and was included the 2008 Whitney Biennial.[8]

In 2016 Arceneaux created Until, Until, Until..., a performance piece recreating and commenting on Ben Vereen's controversial blackface performance at the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan. He has since toured with the piece.[9]

Arceneaux is also an Associate Professor of Art for Roski School of Art and Design at USC; he lives and works in Pasadena, California.[10]


Arceneaux's work has been exhibited at galleries and museums both nationally and internationally, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Orange County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Studio Museum in Harlem,[11] The Kitchen, New York,[12] the Kunstmuseum Basel, Switzerland,[13] the Lentos Art Museum, Austria, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the Whitney Museum of American Art and the Museum Ludwig in Germany. He is represented by Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects in Los Angeles and Nathalie Obadia in Paris.


  1. ^ "WattHouseProject.org".
  2. ^ "Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects: Edgar Arceneaux Biography".
  3. ^ "Hammer Residencies: Edgar Arceneaux". Archived from the original on 2010-09-10.
  4. ^ George, Lynell (2 November 2008). "Watts House Project: Art meets architecture near the Towers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  5. ^ "Watts House Project: Mission, Vision, and History".
  6. ^ Chang, Aimee (25 November 2003). "Hammer Projects: Press Release for Edgar Arceneaux's 'Drawings of Removal'". Retrieved 16 December 2011.
  7. ^ "United States Artist Fellows".
  8. ^ "Whitney Biennial 2008: Artists - Edgar Arceneaux".
  9. ^ Castro, Alexander (November 28, 2018). "Performance revisits an infamous TV moment for Ben Vereen". The Providence Journal. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  10. ^ "About". Edgar Arceneaux. Retrieved 2020-02-26.
  11. ^ Finkel, Jori (10 June 2007). "A Reluctant Fraternity, Thinking Post-Black". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  12. ^ Cotter, Holland (18 November 2005). "Art in Review; Edgar Arceneaux". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 December 2011.
  13. ^ "Kunstmuseum Basel: Exhibitions - Edgar Arceneaux". Archived from the original on 2011-11-05.