The Canadian-born, New York-based sculptor is best known for his "werewolves": anthropomorphic compositions comprising fabricated, fragmented creatures, among other symbols of masculinity, desire and transformation. An exhibition of new work at Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York sees Altmejd turning the work inside-out, with two Plexiglas boxes that fill the gallery. Suspended within are elements of human forms diminished and diffused in order to articulate balance. Here the artist talks about creating a new realm of the invisible.
TIMOTHY HULL: There is an odd resemblance in these new Plexiglas works to the structure and circuitry of a computer mega-server or some ghostly mechanical information center. Do these sculptures somehow stand as metaphors for information and energy exchange?
DAVID ALTMEJD: Yes, but I don't think about technology so much. For me it's closer to the nervous system or natural aspects of the body. So if you frame the discussion in terms of energy, it's more about the way it travels through the spine or the nerves rather than being contained in a box. Read More
In the 1990s, Tom Burr exhibited with Colin de Land's seminal American Fine Arts gallery in SoHo, a locus for 1990's Ideas and Identity art. Burr's work was central to the arguments of the time; as he made art that critiqued the transformations of 42nd Street and Central Park as metaphors for the widespread loss of sexualized gay meeting places. 20 years on, Burr's work continues to mine the darker, quieter sides of memory, time, architecture and persona. Through sculpture invoking interior architecture and mixed media collage tacked up like in a laboratory, or a teenager'sroom, Burr zeroes in on iconic and tragic figures like Truman Capote, Frank O'Hara, Jim Morrison and Chick Austin, breathing new life and associations into history. In recent years, Burr has showed prominently in New York at The Sculpture Center and the Swiss Institute New York, and he continues to exhibit widely across Europe.
We caught up with Burr before the opening of a group show at the new location of Bortolami Gallery, where his work is currently included in a group exhibition.
TIMOTHY HULL: I want to begin with Marcel Proust, who outlined three types of memory: one that is subjective and willfully recalled; another, collective, representing memories one subjectively remembers but did not necessarily experience; involuntary memory, provoked by the senses and recalling, in an almost mystical way, a truth from the past. To me, it seems your work exists amongst these three spheres: Do you believe that your work can have a symbiotic relationship to multiple realms of memory? Read More