Artist biography

American sculptor. He completed his BFA at the California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, in 1986. Edmier's work concentrates on a perception of childhood and innocence from an adult perspective. Using recollection as the deciding factor in his choice of motif, he reprinted photographs taken as a child. The photographs are linked through their opaque imagery, as in each work his finger is inadvertently placed over the lens. This use of frustrated, stillborn images shows his interest in using his own personal history as an unreadable past, in the stream of other wider cultural events. Edmier has evolved his artistic process into one that intertwined historical personalities with figures from his own past. Jill Peters (1997; see 1998 exh. cat.), for example, is a sculpture of his childhood sweetheart combined with aspects of the 1970s movie icon Farah Fawcett. His Beverly Edmier 1967 (1998; see 1998 exh. cat.) is an even closer interweaving of entities. It is a recreation of his mother as a transparent resin sculpture dressed in a pink Chanel suit, nine months pregnant with the unborn artist (seen in amniotic fluid). Dressing his mother figure in a suit similar to that worn by Jackie Kennedy at the time of her husband's assassination, Edmier places expectation and tragedy into an object of retrospection. Bringing together cultural symbols with tropes of self-absorption and narcissism, Edmier's art cites a place of memory where events in history are shown to be played out directly in the fantasy lives of private individuals.

Bibliography
Keith Edmier (exh. cat., essays by M. Miller, J. Dillinger, N. Wakefield, and K. Bousman, Tampa, U. S. FL A. Mus., 1997)
Keith Edmier (exh. cat., essay by J. Hutchinson, Dublin, Trinity Coll., Hyde Gal., 1998)
Abracadabra: International Contemporary Art (exh. cat., ed. C. Grenier and C. Kinley, London, Tate, 1999), pp. 42–6

FRANCIS SUMMERS
05 April 2001

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