DAVID ALTMEJD – STUART SHAVE/MODERN ART – LONDON
David Altmejd’s work iterates fantastical ideas of spirited bodies. He taps into languages abstracted from architecture, ornament, and naturalistic figuration in the making of sculptures which are, for the artist, whole worlds in which he can lose himself in imaginative fantasises of making and open-ended storytelling.
For this exhibition at Modern Art, Altmejd presents three large sculptures, each solely occupying a room within the gallery. The boxed and vitrine-like clear Perspex structures of these sculptures provide support for complex arrangements of symbolic objects and suggestive forms: arrested flows of liquid, coconut shells, silver chains and coloured threads. Creatures of myth and fantasy inhabit the world of Altmejd’s entire oeuvre, and in his new sculptures these bodies have been entirely abstracted into a representation of biological systems, energy-flows and spirits that inhabit architectural dioramas. Altmejd’s approach to making is intuitive and inquisitive, an application of active sculpting in form and narrative that almost pretends to an idea of creation and intelligent design.
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David Altmejd was born in Montreal, QC, Canada, in 1974. He lives and works in New York, NY, USA. Altmejd completed an MA Fine Art at Columbia University, New York, NY, USA, in 2001, and a BA Fine Art, Université du Québec à Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada, in 1998. Recent solo exhibitions have included Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, CT, USA (2011-2012); Conte crépusculaire, Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal, QC, Canada (2011); Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France (2009); Le Magasin Centre National d’Art Contemporain de Grenoble, Grenoble, France (2009); Gallery Met at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, NY, USA (2008); David Altmejd Stages, Fundació La Caixa Museum, Barcelona, Spain (2007); The Index, Canadian Pavilion, 52nd Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy (2007); Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, CO, USA (2007); and Metamorphosis, Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal, QC, Canada (2007). David Altmejd’s work has been included in the recent exhibitions Fairy Tales, Monsters and the Genetic Imagination, Frist Centre for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN, USA (touring) (2012); Zoo, Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal, Montreal, QC, Canada (2012); Mondes inventés – Mondes habités, Mudam Luxembourg, Luxembourg (2011); Der Traum von Fliegen, Haus Der Kulturen Der Welt, Berlin, Germany (2011); Performance/Art, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX, USA (2010); Skin Fruit: Selections from the Dakis Joannou Collection, curated by Jeff Koons, New Museum, New York, NY, USA (2010); Contemplating the Void: Interventions in the Guggenheim Museum Rotunda, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USA (2010); The Visceral Body, Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (2010); The Lovers, Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val de Marne, France (2010); Le Sang D’un Poete, Frac des Pays de la Loire, Nantes, France (2009); Liverpool Biennial, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2008); Freeway Balconies, Curated by Collier Schorr, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, Germany (2009); Quebec Triennial, Musee D’Art Contemporain de Montreal, Montreal, Canada (2009); Star Power: Museum as Body Electric, MCA Denver, Denver, CO, USA (2007); Ideal Worlds. New Romanticism in Contemporary Art, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany (2005); Whitney Biennial 2004, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY, USA (2004); and the 8th Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey (2003).