Keith Edmier

born 1967

Keith Edmier, ‘Beverly Edmier 1967’ 1998
Beverly Edmier 1967 1998
© the artist, courtesy Sadie Coles HQ, London
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Biography

Keith Edmier (born 1967 in Chicago) is an American sculptor.

When he was four years old, Edmier and his parents moved to Tinley Park, Illinois, a southwest suburb of Chicago. They bought a home in the Bremen Towne Estates subdivision, which was a small village within a village, having its own shopping mall, theater and churches. He had an early interest in sculpting, making masks much like those used for special effects in films. In order to learn how to create vampire fangs, he got an after-school job with a dental lab, where he learned how to use acrylics and molding techniques.

While still a student at Victor J. Andrew High School, he managed to strike up a correspondence with Hollywood makeup artist Dick Smith. After an early graduation from high school, Edmier set off for Hollywood, where he began learning more by working on movies such as The Fly. Edmier also attended the California Institute of the Arts for a brief period. It was here that he decided to make a career change from working in film to becoming an artist, moving to New York to pursue that goal in 1990. He became an assistant to Matthew Barney, who advised him to concentrate on creating works which have personal meaning to him.

Many of Edmier's works have very close personal connections to his life. He embarked on the creation of the exhibit "Bremen Towne", where he recreated in exact detail, his childhood home and the family's rooms in it. While his parents had sold the home and were now living in nearby Orland Park, Illinois, they contacted the present owner, who agreed to grant Edmier access to the home where he grew up. The construction of the life-size rooms took the artist over a year. It was shown by Petzel Galleries in 2008 and was part of the group show Lifelike that originated at the Walker Art Center in 2012.

Edmier continued with exhibits that were close to his childhood. Also in 2008, Edmier exhibited his "& Episode 1" at the art museum on the campus of the University of New York at Albany. The exhibits featured children's shows familiar to most Chicagoans: Bozo's Circus, The BJ and Dirty Dragon Show, and The Ray Rayner Show. Edmier's special bond with Rayner came from his sending a drawing to the show as a young boy. Rayner, who showed all drawings on camera sent to him by his show's viewers, gave the budding artist his first showing to the tune of bells being rung by those in the crew as a sign of his good work. For the exhibit, which ran from July 10 to September 21, 2008, Edmier reconstructed the old Rayner show set by using photos and set designer's sketches provided to him by WGN-TV. To make the set seem authentic, the chalk board was updated daily with Chicago sports results and weather forecasts, as was done when the show was on the air. He also kept the set's clock set to the Central Time Zone. Edmier was able to arrange for the loan of many of the puppets and other important items from the television shows through the Museum of Broadcast Communications.

Edmier's sculptures are in the collections of many museums of modern art, including the Tate Modern.

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