Image: The Index © 2009 David Altmejd
David Altmejd, whose room-filling contemporary installation, The Index, is featured at the Art Gallery of Ontario, was named winner of the 2009 Sobey Award. Established in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation, the award is administered by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and is considered the art equivalent of an Oscar.
Winner of a $50,000 prize, Altmejd is a Montreal-born artist living in New York. He made international headlines in 2007 when he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale with The Index. The complex work features a number of connected wood and steel structures filled with flocks of stuffed birds and squirrels as well as half-human, half-bird bodies throughout. The installation is surrounded by mirrors to make the viewer a part of the experience.
The AGO acquired the work in 2007 thanks to a generous gift from George Hartman and Arlene Goldman.