Friday evening, I attended the opening of David Altmejd’s new exhibition, Juices, at Andrea Rosen Gallery. The Montreal born artist, who lives and works in New York City represented Canada in the 2007 Venice Biennale and has been shown at various museums including the Guggenheim, Whitney and New Museum.
Altmejd creates sculptures that blur the lines between abstraction and representation and lend commentary to the deconstruction of ideas associated with sexuality, spirituality, life, and mortality. Using an assortment of materials that include synthetic hair, polystyrene, expandable foam, leather, ceramic and taxidermy all enclosed in a Plexiglass structure he is able to create dynamic sculptures like the main attraction of this solo exhibition “The Flux and The Puddle”.
The mesmerizing sculpture completely encompasses a room in the gallery and requires close examination. The work has a sort of fluidity to it giving the impression that it is a work in progress and will be ever changing. All the parts seem to be in a state of flux or decline. Altmejd breaks down the human form and plays with his materials in a way that clearly shows the process behind making the work come to fruition. He is not afraid to rip off a limb or carve out a hole into the human form. It is this process and fearlessness that makes his work so engaging.
It was fun talking to David and his family at the dinner afterwards… fellow Montréalers!