artist / participant


press release

The Galerie de l’UQAM is offering the public a chance to appreciate — or to discover — the artist David Altmejd, who will represent Canada at the 2007 Venice Biennale. An exhibition devoted entirely to his work has been organized by the curator and director of the Galerie de l’UQAM, Louise Déry, as part of the Biennale de Montréal. Entitled simply David Altmejd, it features works spanning the past ten years. The exhibition will be Altmejd’s largest exhibition yet in Canada. The artist will be in Montreal for the opening.

David Altmejd Altmejd was chosen to represent Canada at the 2007 Venice Biennale (June 10 to November 21, 2007), and he will present two monumental works there: TheIndex and The Giant 2. Dividing his time among London, New York, and his hometown, Montreal, the artist has, in just a few years, attracted interest from contemporary art critics and specialists on the international scene. Born in Montreal in 1974, David Altmejd is represented by Andrea Rosen Gallery (New York) and Stuart Shave/Modern Art (London). He has degrees in visual art from UQAM (BA, 1998) and Columbia University (MFA, 2001). He has exhibited in Québec (Galerie de l’UQAM, Skol, Optica, Clark, B-312), the United States (Andrea Rosen Gallery, Whitney Museum) and Europe (Kunsthalle Frankfurt, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Museum Ludwig). The Exhibition at the Galerie de l’UQAM

The singularity of David Altmejd’s work is revealed through five major works that show his interest in energy and bodily transformation, as well as his predilection for contrasting aesthetic tensions and issues of formalism and postmodernism. He scrutinizes the features of many a ghost from earlier artistic traditions—the pedestal, the ornament, the recumbent tomb figure, the vanitas, the relic, the replica—transforming them with scintillating mirror effects. His works have a labyrinthine complexity: pastiches and fragments of bodies are deployed in an exuberantly theatrical decor, decorated with glitter and jewellery, charms, crystals, flowers, squirrels, and more.

Louise Déry Curator, author and teacher, Louise Déry holds a doctorate in Art History and has been Director of the Galerie de l’Université du Québec à Montréal since 1997. She was previously a curator at both the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and has published more than 50 exhibition catalogues. In 2006, she was named curator of the Canadian Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale after proposing an exhibition of the works of David Altmejd. An enthusiastic promoter of the artist’s work in Canada, Déry also organized a travelling David Altmejd exhibition, which circulated throughout the country. She has been showing Altmejd’s work since 2000.

A first catalogue In the first catalogue devoted to the artist, we find an essay by Louise Déry that covers 10 years of the artist’s production and explains the principal aspects of his research and his art. More than 60 colour reproductions accompany the text, abundantly documenting his work, in particular The University 2, an important sculpture created in 2004 and acquired by the Guggenheim Museum, and Delicate Men in Positions of Power, created by Altmejd for the Whitney Biennial Exhibition in 2003 and subsequently acquired by the Whitney Museum. The catalogue was designed by Marc-André Roy of Makara.

In June, as part of the 2007 Venice Biennale, the Galerie de l’UQAM will publish a second book presenting the two works specially created for the Canadian Pavilion. This publication has been designed by Uniform.

only in german

David Altmejd
Kuratorin: Louise Dery