The Eye


David Altmejd ( Canadian, 1974 )

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General Description

The Eye was inspired by the 2005 John Adams opera Doctor Atomic, which tells the story of the first atomic bomb test, and was created in conjunction with the show's premier at the Metropolitan Opera. The complex, crystalline assemblage of mirrors brings to mind the splitting of an atom, as if the tremendous release of energy were frozen mid-explosion. In this moment of suspended destruction, viewers can contemplate their fractured reflections. The glittering light flooding the gallery space creates a spectacle meant by Altmejd to act as a vortex that engulfs the viewer in the sculpture's energy, but the beauty is contradicted by the graveness of the sculpture's inspiration.

Excerpt from

Anna Katherine Brodbeck, ed., TWO X TWO X TWENTY: Two Decades Supporting Contemporary Art at the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art), 2018, 128.

Fun Facts

  • "My work has a kind of dramatic, over-the-top quality that corresponds to my idea of what opera is....And the subject of Doctor Atomic—that really influenced my work...I tried hard not to make an illustration of the opera, but let myself be influenced by the graveness of the subject." - David Altmejd