Grotesque Faces By David Altmejd

Tabish Khan
By Tabish Khan Last edited 39 months ago
Grotesque Faces By David Altmejd ★★★☆☆ 3
Beauty meets the grotesque as this crystalline face appears to have been punched in. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
Beauty meets the grotesque as this crystalline face appears to have been punched in. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
This fleshy protruding sculpture is one of the most disturbing faces. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
This fleshy protruding sculpture is one of the most disturbing faces. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
Two faces merge into one and it's unclear where one ends and the other begins. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
Two faces merge into one and it's unclear where one ends and the other begins. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
This blue green coloured head is one of the more traditional works on display. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
This blue green coloured head is one of the more traditional works on display. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
This face appears to have completely caved in, leaving a bloody hole in the centre. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
This face appears to have completely caved in, leaving a bloody hole in the centre. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
Grapes for ears give this work a surreal and absurd tone, it's much lighter than the other pieces. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan
Grapes for ears give this work a surreal and absurd tone, it's much lighter than the other pieces. Copyright David Altmejd, photo Tabish Khan

Londonist Rating: ★★★☆☆

Faces are the main way we recognise one another and we're able to pick up on even the slightest changes. Artist David Altmejd plays on this sense of familiarity and has created a set of sculptures that distort our expectations of what faces are supposed to look like.

It's a grotesque and surreal exhibition of different faces, including examples where two visages meld into one another so it resembles a face whichever way up it's viewed. One of the most disturbing is a work that looks like it's made of raw meat and protrudes outward like a nightmarish alien creature.

Altmejd also challenges our ideals of beauty with a couple of crystalline faces that are shattered, yet the crystals still retain an aesthetic beauty even when the heads are lying in corner of the gallery.

Our favourite work is a head made up of numerous hands all reaching outward. It's a truly surreal piece, compounded by the fact one of the hands has broken free and is digging away at the shelf the head is sat upon.

While we felt this show could have explored the concept of faces further by questioning the nature of our identity, we did enjoy these freakish sculptures, with undertones of both the comic and the grotesque.

David Altmejd: Faces is on at Modern Art, 4-8 Helmet Row, EC1V 3QJ until 14 February. Entrance is free.

For more great art to see, visit our top 10 exhibitions for February.

Last Updated 02 February 2015