Mesmerizing Large-Scale Sculpture by David Altmejd Aquired by Dallas Museum of Art

Major New Acquisition Immerses Viewers in a Dramatic Mirrored Environment; Currently on View at the DMA in Performance/Art Exhibition

The Dallas Museum of Art today announced the acquisition of a major large-scale sculpture, The Eye, by the celebrated Canadian artist David Altmejd. Among the artist’s most ambitious works to date, The Eye measures approximately 11 by 18 feet and is an imposing and mesmerizing structure of mirrored glass and wooden support that engulfs the viewer in a spectacular environment of fractured light and reflection. Acquired by the DMA through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund made possible by Two by Two for AIDS and Art, the work is currently on view in the DMA’s exhibition Performance/Art through March 21, 2010.

“It’s a pleasure to offer visitors the chance to explore David Altmejd’s work, which overwhelms and entices the viewer with dazzling visual effect,” said Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “This beautiful and dramatic sculpture is an important addition to our collections, and a fascinating component of our Performance/Art exhibition, which explores connections between visual and performing arts. Altmejd’s work energizes the DMA’s collections, which are recognized among the most important museum holdings in the country, and reinforces our city’s standing as a major center for contemporary art.”

Created in 2008, The Eye draws inspiration from the 2005 John Adams opera Doctor Atomic, which recounts the events leading up to the first nuclear bomb test under the supervision of Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer in 1945. The installation’s dazzling mirrored facades give the piece a theatrical quality, as well as a sense of movement, drawing possible parallels to an explosion that has been suspended or frozen in time, or a spaceship that has just landed, or to any number of possible references dealing with science and science fiction, as well as the history of sculpture. Altmejd made The Eye for the art gallery at The Metropolitan Opera in New York, which presents the work of visual artists who have been asked to respond to an opera performed during the Met’s season.

The Eye is one of Altmejd’s most abstract and amazing achievements,” said Charles Wylie, the DMA’s Lupe Murchison Curator of Contemporary Art. “The work confounds us with its beauty while challenging our sense of scale, creating an immersive experience. Altmejd’s exuberant and complex vision makes his work truly extraordinary, and it is extremely exciting to have been able to bring this work to Dallas and have it stay here.”

Almejd’s work joins other large-scale sculptures and installations in the DMA’s contemporary art collection by artists such as Chris Burden, Mona Hatoum, Tatsuo Miyajima, Doug Aitken and Olafur Eliasson, among many others. Its acquisition is made possible through the DMA/amfAR Benefit Auction Fund, which is supported by the annual fundraising event Two by Two for AIDS and Art and which has allowed the Museum to acquire approximately 100 works of contemporary art since its founding in 1999.

About David Altmejd
In October 2009, David Altmejd was awarded the 2009 Sobey Art Award, Canada’s preeminent prize for contemporary art. Born in 1974 in Montreal, Quebec, Altmejd has received significant international attention in recent years for his visually rich and complex sculptures. He was selected to represent Canada at the 2007 Venice Biennale, and his work was featured in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. Other recent important exhibitions of Altmejd’s work have included the 2008 Liverpool Biennial at the Tate-Liverpool, UK, and the 2008 Triennial of Québec Art at the Musée D’Art Contemporain de Montréal. He received his BFA from the University of Quebec, Montreal in 1998, and his MFA from Columbia University in 2001.

About the Dallas Museum of Art
Located in the vibrant Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas, the Dallas Museum of Art (DMA) ranks among the leading art institutions in the country and is distinguished by its innovative exhibitions and groundbreaking educational programs. At the heart of the Museum and its programs are its encyclopedic collections, which encompass more than 24,000 works and span 7,000 years of history, representing a full range of world cultures. Established in 1903, the Museum today welcomes more than 600,000 visitors annually and acts as a catalyst for community creativity, engaging people of all ages and backgrounds with a diverse spectrum of programming, from exhibitions and lectures to concerts, literary readings and dramatic and dance presentations.

The Dallas Museum of Art is supported in part by the generosity of Museum members and donors and by the citizens of Dallas through the City of Dallas/Office of Cultural Affairs and the Texas Commission on the Arts.