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In 2001, he completed his Masters of Fine Arts at Columbia University. He also holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal, in Montreal, Canada. Since graduating with his MFA, he has taken part in many high profile group shows at important spaces as impressive as Artists Space and Deitch Projects, both in New York City. In 2003, he was curated by Dan Cameron into the 8th International Istanbul Biennial. In 2004, he was included in the Whitney Biennial of American Art. In 2007, he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale; his installation "The Index", curated by Louise Déry, was subsequently purchased by the Art Gallery of Ontario.
David Altmejd's sculptures mix seemingly random objects such as decapitated werewolf heads with graffiti-style Stars of David, towers made of mirrors, plastic flowers and faux jewelry, to create sculptural systems loaded with what he calls “symbolic potential” and open ended narratives. Werewolf heads have appeared so frequently in his work that in the contemporary art world, they are widely recognized as being closely affiliated with this artist.
Kara L. Rooney writes of "The Vessel" (2011), the central piece in his March 2011 showing at Andrea Rosen Gallery:
"Like Altmejd’s figurative giants, 'The Vessel' contains a myriad number of small universes that lodge themselves like secrets in pockets of flesh and plastic. Lengths of fine gold chain, Plasticine hands and ears, shards of mirror and quartz, spools of multi-colored thread, seahorse and insect casts, as well as abstracted references to Avian gods, such as cranes and other airborne creatures, swarm the Plexi castle in a cacophony of frozen movement."
Notes and references
- "AGO Receives Acclaimed Canadian Contemporary Sculpture". Art Gallery of Ontario, Press release. 20-August-2007. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
- Rooney, Kara L. (May 2011). "David Altmejd". The Brooklyn Rail.
- Andrea Rosen Gallery: David Altmejd
- Xavier Hufkens: David Altmejd
- Stuart Shave/Modern Art: David Altmejd
- Interview (2007)
- An Interview with David Altmejd by Randy Gladman from C International Contemporary Art Magazine, Summer 2004.
- Venice Biennale (2007): David Altmejd