David Altmejd explores the constitution and disintegration of the self, producing sculptures that expand the range of figurative representation, and conjuring abstract regions beyond the realm of recognizability. His work is centered on the human form, which in Altmejd’s vision includes not only the body but the mind, the imagination, and the soul, not to mention the ways the material world is perceived and felt through these channels. To this end, each of his works arises from an ongoing intuitive relationship with the large array of materials with which they are built, including clay, foam, mirror, quartz, resin, and both synthetic and human hair. Traditional processes like casting exist alongside idiosyncratic forms of bricolage; no two sculptures are alike, even when they seem to address related subjects. Altmejd approaches scale as a relative quantity, and over the course of his two-decade career he has treated room-sized installations and intimate busts with the same levels of intensity and commitment. Cosmological in scope, his work reveals a world-making ethos across its surfaces and in its details, where countless moments of invention and curiosity reflect ever-unfolding mysteries of consciousness.
David Altmejd (b. 1974, Montreal) has been the subject of solo exhibitions at Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels (2016); Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, Netherlands (2016); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark (2015, traveled to Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2014, traveled to Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal and Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean); MOCA Cleveland (2012); and Brant Foundation Art Study Center, Greenwich, Connecticut (2011), among other institutions. In 2007, Altmejd represented Canada at the 52nd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, Venice. Recent group exhibitions include In the Spotlight of the Night Life in the Gloom, Marta Herford Museum, Herford, Germany (2019); Zombies: Pay Attention!, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado (2018); ANIMA MUNDI, Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam (2018); Voyage d'hiver, Château de Versailles, France (2017); and A Material Legacy: The Nancy A. Nasher and David J. Haemisegger Collection of Contemporary Art, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina (2016). His work is in the permanent collections of museums such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; and Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris. Altmejd lives and works in Los Angeles.