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David Altmejd Wins Sobey Award

October 20th, 2009

The Index
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.

  • mike black

    It is a SHAME that the Sobey award is only open to artists UNDER 40. That is a huge disappointment. (There are a lot of us OVER 40 that would like to be eligible for awards, too) I am usually extremely open minded about art, but that THIS is the winning piece from all those submitted makes me wonder…do you think the general population will relate and respond to this piece? To me, it is not art befitting of an international gallery and a ‘prestigious’ art award (although I will be questioning the judges taste from now on)

  • mike black

    It is a SHAME that the Sobey award is only open to artists UNDER 40. That is a huge disappointment. (There are a lot of us OVER 40 that would like to be eligible for awards, too) I am usually extremely open minded about art, but that THIS is the winning piece from all those submitted makes me wonder…do you think the general population will relate and respond to this piece? To me, it is not art befitting of an international gallery and a ‘prestigious’ art award (although I will be questioning the judges taste from now on)

  • Linda Ewert

    I saw this piece during the recent Docent Symposium and was extremely intrigued and engaged. It is certainly a piece to be talked about.

  • Linda Ewert

    I saw this piece during the recent Docent Symposium and was extremely intrigued and engaged. It is certainly a piece to be talked about.

  • Cindy

    It is a bit too flashy!

  • Cindy

    It is a bit too flashy!

  • NS

    RE: Mike Black’s comment. The Sobey Art Award is awarded based on the nominated artists’ entire body of work, not a single submission. A panel of curator-judges from galleries across the country are picked every year to decide on the winning artist. “The Index” – the work in the accompanying image – is on display at the AGO, so not a “winning piece” but a work by the winning artist.

  • NS

    RE: Mike Black’s comment. The Sobey Art Award is awarded based on the nominated artists’ entire body of work, not a single submission. A panel of curator-judges from galleries across the country are picked every year to decide on the winning artist. “The Index” – the work in the accompanying image – is on display at the AGO, so not a “winning piece” but a work by the winning artist.

  • http://http///jocelyne-artigue.over-blog.com jocelyne ARTIGUE

    Bonjour, l’exposition de cet artiste, au Magasin à Grenoble( France) était splendide.
    A bientôt

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  • Patricia Kirilenko

    Not an artist-not a judge

    What the hell is that? Has no theme, it’s confusing and a mess. Looks like something that is in the process of being dismantled. I can’t believe I paid money to view such nonsense.

    And with all the true artist out there-come on-this is sad.

  • Patricia Kirilenko

    Not an artist-not a judge

    What the hell is that? Has no theme, it’s confusing and a mess. Looks like something that is in the process of being dismantled. I can’t believe I paid money to view such nonsense.

    And with all the true artist out there-come on-this is sad.

  • ABM

    i find this piece very interesting, it’s fun to spot all the small details. I find it’s easier to look at this piece of art in pieces from the maimed creatures, to the bird men, to all the cracks in the mirrors. I belive this piece has life and a very strong meaning in most peoples minds.

  • ABM

    i find this piece very interesting, it’s fun to spot all the small details. I find it’s easier to look at this piece of art in pieces from the maimed creatures, to the bird men, to all the cracks in the mirrors. I belive this piece has life and a very strong meaning in most peoples minds.