Art Gallery of Alberta

David Altmejd: The Vessel sails on

A closing look at Altmejd’s captivating Vessel

Written by Lynda Vang

Haunting, complex, detailed and nuanced—David Altmejd: The Vessel is an impressive, Plexiglas sculpture that exemplifies movement, transformation and the act of artistic creation. Organized by the National Gallery of Canada as a part of the NGC@AGA exhibition series, David Altmejd: The Vessel mesmerised audiences during its run (October 8, 2016–January 29, 2017). The exhibition is now closed but as we pack up the monumental sculpture—we wanted to take a look back at some of the highlights of David Altmejd: The Vessel.

Like it was yesterday. The AGA Curatorial Team unpacks a segment of the monumental sculpture from its crate.

When The Vessel  first arrived, the complexities and the nuances of the sculpture were fascinating. Prior to the opening of the exhibition we caught up AGA exhibitions manager, Laura Ritchie, to talk more about Altmejd’s work and his ode to creation.

Once the exhibition opened, The Vessel created quite the buzz with many people commenting on the sculpture and sharing their experience on social media. David Almejd: The Vessel became the talk of the town.

As featured in Vue Weekly.


Showing alongside The Vessel was an interpretive resource centre where guests were invited to get tactile and touch similar materials found in The Vessel while also enjoying a video about the artist. The pièce de résistance had to be the interactive Vessel—inspired string mural, where guests were encouraged to add to the mural using only string and their imagination. The string mural was so inspired it jumped right off of the canvas!

Spidey senses are tingling. The string mural leaps off of the wall.


The Vessel captures movement in stillness, order in chaos and speaks multitudes about creation, life and death. Now that The Vessel has come and gone its captivating effects will be sure to linger.


David Altmejd: The Vessel was organized by the National Gallery of Canada as a part of the NGC@AGA exhibition series. Presented by TD Bank Group with support from Artist Patron Marie Gordon.