Artist David Altmejd is concerned with beauty, both the outer and inner constructions of physicality. In sculptural works, he’s shown the ability to update a classical type of study on human form, twisting bodies into unexpected grotesque forms, offering oversized figures, using mirrors to reassemble a person or showcasing werewolf heads.

He’s also turned the minutia of inner connectivity into complex, large-scale works, exploring a universe from minutia. Generally, Altmejd exposes the body as both beginning and end, mimicking structure into experiment. This month, the Brant Foundation Art Study Center offers Altmejd his biggest challenge yet.

Following the likes of Julian Schnabel, Josh Smith and Swiss sculptor Urs Fischer, Altmejd will be installing nearly 10,000 feet of gallery space with archive work and new creations. Noted collector Peter Brant established his foundation in 2009 “to promote education and appreciation of contemporary art.” This involves loaning and displaying works from his private collection (including pieces by Warhol, Koons, Prince, Lichtenstein, Serra, Haring and Basquiat) for formal study, as well as curating long-term exhibitions. The gallery space on Brant’s estate in Greenwich, CT, adjacent to his polo field, was converted from a stone barn by minimalist architect Richard Gluckman.

A Sobey Art Award winner in 2009, Altmejd’s most notable exhibitions include the 2007 Venice Biennale and the 2004 Whitney Biennial. He’s also shown at PS 1 Contemporary Art Center, the Guggenheim (Spain, New York and Berlin) and Deitch Projects since earning an MFA from Columbia University in 2001. His pieces are featured in the permanent collections at Art Gallery of Ontario and Dallas Museum of Art.

The Montreal native’s most recent solo show at Andrea Rosen Gallery showcased large Plexiglas sculptures, referencing the nervous system by suspending objects in mid-air. The visual creates a sense of movement among static objects, bringing to life both the organic and inorganic elements. Those works were hailed by art critics as a new leaf turning over for the already acclaimed Altmejd. While the aesthetic likely hints at what viewers might expect from his installation at Brant, Altmejd is both served by and servant to his bodily obsession.

TEXT BY Michael Cohen