David Altmejd creates highly detailed sculptures that often blur the distinction between interior and exterior, surface and structure, representation and abstraction. For Altmejd, the process of making is paramount – he is interested in how the act of constructing an object and defying traditional material conventions generates meaning. In his recent series of large-scale semi-figurative sculptures he used seemingly random objects (such as hessian, polystyrene, chains, fur, crystals and resin casts of his hands and of exotic fruits) to create resonant connections and juxtapositions between diverse material elements. In his complex installations involving Perspex structures and vitrines, Altmejd often pairs symbolic objects, such as crystals and taxidermy birds and animals, with virtuosic applications of materials such as plaster, glitter, minerals and mirrors. Motivated by the invisible worlds that often exist just beneath the surface of things, the artist reveals the hidden structures in his own works through negative spaces: gaps, holes, fissures and crystal filled orifices are a recurring motif. In contrast, the reflective surfaces of his mirrored sculptures are impenetrable and both define and destabilise, as well as multiply, the spaces around them.
David Altmejd (b. 1974, Montréal) lives and works in New York. His work was the subject of a major survey exhibition entitled Flux at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France which travelled on to the MUDAM in Luxembourg and the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Canada (2014-15). He represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and his first public sculpture The Eye (a commission from the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal) was unveiled in 2012.