David Altmejd, The University 1, 2004, mirrors, wood, 66 x 71 x 106".

David Altmejd

The Brant Foundation Art Study Center

David Altmejd, The University 1, 2004, mirrors, wood, 66 x 71 x 106".

With its rusticated glamour and strangely artificial natural setting, the enclave known hyperbolically as “backcountry” Connecticut—home to collector Peter Brant’s elegant, capacious apple barn–turned–quasi-public kunsthalle—proves a surprisingly sympathetic setting for the riotous dazzle and decay of David Altmejd’s work. Set between an impossibly green polo pitch and a quiet stretch of road whose posh tranquility is disturbed only by the occasional lawn-service truck, the 9,800-square-foot space has been transformed by the artist into a series of ecosystems showcasing the various kingdoms of synthetic flora and fauna that make up his giddily complex, satisfyingly strange universe of sculptures, installations, and spatial interventions.

Altmejd remains one of contemporary art’s most resourceful collagists—his eye for the resonant connections between superficially

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