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The Vessel, 2011

David Altmejd
Canadian, 1974
plexiglas, chain, plaster, wood, thread, wire, acrylic paint, epoxy resin, epoxy clay, acrylic gel, granular medium, quartz, pyrite, assorted minerals, adhesive, wire, pins, and needles
260.4 x 619.8 x 219.7 cm
Purchased 2012
National Gallery of Canada (no. 45417)

"What inspired The Vessel was a movement; the movement of something that retracts a little, in order to gain energy just before throwing itself forward. Like a wave that draws back and swells with water and energy and is about to crash. Or the movement of an arm that is about to throw an object." David Altmejd, 2011 In The Vessel, plaster casts of the artist's hands and, in some cases, casts of his ears provide the heads of graceful swans in flight. By conflating human features associated with the senses with a bird of symbolic stature in poetry and myth, Altmejd conjures movement and metamorphosis. The Vessel also references another kind of transformation, relating to the act of artistic creation itself.

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