Travel Blog

4 Nov

See art in the cultural heart of Montréal

Walking tours are a fantastic way to get a sense of the city—especially one of the many cool itineraries suggested by the people at Art Public Montréal, who focus on Montréal’s incredible cultural offerings. This is a city where art shines year-round and in every detail, down to the amazing public art you can visit for free city-wide.

So grab a map, your walking shoes and your camera, and explore this crop of artworks at the heart of the metropolis.

claude_bettingerL’Artiste est Celui qui Fait Voir l’Autre Côté des Choses (1992), created by Claude Bettinger

Bettinger’s creative approach demonstrates his interest in the notions of memory, movement, light and transparency. In this impressive work located at Place des Arts, he uses these interests as a launch pad to explore perceptions: his giant telescope, kaleidoscope or periscope, depending on how you look at it, allows passers-by in the corridor of the Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme to view the facade of Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier without having it in their direct line of sight.

stephen_schofieldOù Boivent les Loups (2016), created by Stephen Schofield

Through drawing, sculpture and performance, Schofield has built up an impressive body of work centred around the representation of the human body. Located right in Montréal’s performance quarter, Quartier des Spectacles, this massive work can be interpreted as a five-panel narrative exploring various aspects of the performing arts, from Shakespearean actors to comedians to dancers—all filtered through the artist’s fascinatingly off-kilter analytic lens.

genevieve_cadieuxLa Voie Lactée (1992), created by Geneviève Cadieux

Sitting atop the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal like a crown, this iconic work by photographer Cadieux is emblematic of the artist’s interest in the human body and landscape as means of expressing identity. Through series of semi-abstract, mostly large-scale images that draw on cinematographic techniques, Cadieux often explores the limits of intimacy by using family members as models. These are her mother’s lips.

frederic_backHistoire de la Musique à Montréal (1967), created by Frédéric Back

This impressive glass colour field has shone its light on passersby in the Place des Arts metro station since the late 1960s. The award-winning Back was world-renowned as an animator, which you can see in the narrative, comic-like construction of this painted glass mural. The work is an homage to the history of music in Montréal, from the time of Jacques Cartier to the contemporary era (you can spot historical figures Calixa Lavallée, Alexis Contant and Dame Emma Albani among the characters.)

Pierre Granche, Comme si le temps… de la rue, 1992

Une photo publiée par chelsea harper (@highwaytochel) le 29 Mai 2016 à 9h34 PDT

Comme si le Temps… de la Rue (1992), created by Pierre Granche

Sitting under a skylight in the centre of Place des Arts, this sculpture demonstrates Granche’s interest in mythology, which he has here applied to a depiction of Montreal. Inspired by Greek theatre and Egyptian iconography, the work is built upon a representation of the urban fabric stretching from Mount Royal to the Saint Lawrence River (symbolized by the waterfall). The overhead view of the work from the Place des Arts Esplanade reveals the city as seen from the top of Mount Royal.

These are only five works among the 10 you can see on the Visit to the Cultural Heart of the Metropolis art tour suggested by Art Public Montréal – check out the website to see just how much more you can explore.

Up next:See art among the skyscrapers in Montréal


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