David Altmejd Exhibited at The Saatchi Gallery

David Altmejd
The New North


Wood, foam, expandable foam, resin, paint, magic-sculpt, magic-smooth, epoxy, glue, mirror, horse hair, quartz crystals and wire

368.3 x 134.6 x 106.7 cm
“When I work, the body is like a universe where I can lose myself. It is a metaphor for the landscape, nature and the mountains”, Altmejd has said. The Healers (2008), another sculpture over two metres high which is formed of wood, foam, plaster and burlap, shows wildly overlapping figures and figurative fragments – hands, wings, kneeling and kissing figures, rendered as if in the midst co-dependent, sexually charged physical agony.
Equally reminiscent of baroque compositions representing the descent of the cross as well as of 19th-century public bronze sculptures commemorating battle massacres, Altmejd’s elaborate tableau, mixing handmade craft with the illusion of a digital freeze-frame palimpsest, evokes a mood of constant alchemical mutation.
David Altmejd
The Healers


Wood, foam, plaster, burlap, metal wire, paint

Installed dimensions 239 x 367 x 367cm work dimensions 206 x 326 x 326 plinth dimensions 33 x 367 x 367cm
David Altmejd makes large-scale sculptures of anthropomorphic figures cast in a state of metamorphosis. His works explore the boundaries of traditional figuration by embedding his subjects with otherworldly elements and reconceptualizing how to represent the human figure in all its spatial, spiritual and psychological multiplicity.
The New North (2007) is approximately four metres tall; its colossal dimension allows the artist to create microcosmic worlds within it. It is covered in patches of fuzzy horse hair, wires, mirrored rhomboid shapes and quartz crystals; it also has a mysterious staircase with stalagmites that hang from its steps.
Winding its way through the hollow body shape, the stairs are suggestive of mutual ascent and descent, as if inviting an exploration through an ancient cave or ruined architecture. The quasi-taxidermied structure has its own complex logic and systems, like a conceptual city or a building, living and breathing, and self-sufficient.

David Altmejd's Biography

Born in 1974, Montreal
Lives and works in New York


Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York, March 12 - April 23

Xavier Hufkens, Brussels, Belgium, "Le guide",
Vanhaerents Art Collection, Brussels, Belgium, "Colossi"

Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France, curated by Pascal Pique
Magasin, Grenoble

Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London
Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

The Index, Canadian Pavilion, Venice Biennale, Venice
David Altmejd, Fundació “la Caixa”, Barcelona
Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, Colorado
David Altmejd, Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens, Oakville, Ontario, Canada traveling to; Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal, Canada; Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Alberta

Metamorphosis, Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal
University de Quebec, Montreal
Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London

Xavier Hufkens, Brussels

Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York

Galerie Optica, Montreal
Sarah Altmejd, Galerie SKOL, Montreal

Clear Structures for a New Generation, Ten in One Gallery, New York

Modèles d’esprit et jardins intérieurs, Galerie B-312, Montreal

Jennifer, Galerie Clark, Montreal
Table n°2, Galerie SKOL, Montreal


Shape Of Things To Come: New Sculpture, Saatchi Gallery, London

Dream Time, Les Abbatoirs & The mas d’Azil cave, Toulouse

Tate Liverpool, Liverpool Biennale
Lustwarande 08 – Wanderland, De Oude Warande, Tilburg
Freeway Balconies, Curated by Collier Schorr, Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin
Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec (Triennial), Quebec
Quebec Triennial, Musee D’Art Contemporain de Montreal, Canada
Legend, Domaine de Chamarande, Chamarande
Six Feet Under: Autopsy of Our Relation to the Dead, Kunstmuseum Bern, Bern, Also traveling to: The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University, Waltham, MA

Star Power: Museum as Body Electric, MCA Denver, Colorado
Effigies, Stuart Shave/Modern Art, London
The Fractured Figure, Deste Foundation, Athens
Disorder in the House, Walter Vanhaerents Collection, Brussels

Ideal Worlds. New Romanticism in Contemporary Art, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Frankfurt

Noctambule, Fondation Dosne – Biblioteque Thiers, Paris, France (organized by D’Amelio Terras, NY)
2004 Whitney Biennial of American Art, New York
SCREAM, Anton Kern Gallery, New York

Material Eyes, LFL Gallery, New York, NY
8th Istanbul Biennial, curated by Dan Cameron, Istanbul
Détournements, Maison de la Culture Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal
Corporate Profits vs. Labor Costs, curated by John Connelly, D’Amelio Terras Gallery, New York
LIFE/LIKE, Apartment 5BE Gallery, New York

Point de chute, curated by Louis Déry, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels
Demonclownmonkey, curated by Matthew Ritchie, Artist Space, New York
Lucky Draw, benefit for Sculpture Center, Deitch Projects, New York

Interval, Sculpture Center, New York
How I learned to stop worrying and love the recession, Ten in One Gallery, New York
Point de chute, Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal

Stimuli, Maison de la Culture Frontenac, Montreal
Artifice 98, Saidye Bronfman Art Center, Montreal
Les Bricolos, Galerie Clark, Montreal