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David Altmejd: The Vessel


“What inspired The Vessel was a movement. The movement of something that retracts a little, to gain energy just before throwing itself forward. Like a wave that draws back and swells with water and energy, and is about to crash; or the movement of an arm that is about to throw an object.” (David Altmejd, 2011)

David Altmejd’s The Vessel is a monumentally scaled, Plexiglas sculpture that exemplifies movement, transformation and the act of artistic creation. Bringing together a variety of materials in symmetry and harmony, including plaster casts of the artist’s own hands, The Vessel forms a body that is both frozen in space and alive with the energy of a swan in flight.

Alongside David Altmejd’s The Vessel, is Collection Connections, a selection of prints, drawings, photographs and sculpture from the AGA’s collection that draw connections to the themes and materials found in Altmejd’s work.

David Altmejd

Born in Montréal in 1974, internationally-reknowned artist David Altmejd lives and works in New York. He studied visual arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal, graduating in 1998, before moving to New York, where he completed an MFA at Columbia University in 2001.

Altmejd took part in the Istanbul and Whitney Biennials in 2003 and 2004, respectively, and represented Canada in 2007 at the 52nd Venice Biennale with the installation The Index. In 2009, he was awarded The Sobey Award, which celebrates Canadian contemporary artists. Altmejd’s first public sculpture, The Eye (a commission from the Musée des Beaux Arts de Montréal) was unveiled in 2012. His work was recently subject to a major survey exhibition, Flux at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, which also traveled to the MUDAM in Luxembourg and the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal in 2014-15.

In 2016, Altmejd was featured in two solo exhibitions in Brussels, Belgium: Giants at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium and L’air at Xavier Hufkens.

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.


Monday: closed
Tuesday: closed
Wednesday: closed
Thursday: 11am-7pm
Friday: 11am-5pm
Saturday: 11am-5pm
Sunday: closed


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