Presentation of the artworkPresented in Parc René-Lévesque, China Wall is a pyramidal sculpture with a rectangular base and a truncated peak. It is made of Corten steel.
The massive volume stands out in the landscape and blocks the gaze. The rusty colour of the surface is closely linked to the shape; by affecting our perception, the colour of the metal acts in concert with the volume. Combined with the materiality and presence of the object, the colour determines the artwork’s impact in the environment as well as the proportions, weight, and inclines of the planes and dimensions of the artwork.
The title, China Wall, refers not, as one may think, to the Great Wall of China, but to the name of the Montréal borough in which the artwork is situated. In the seventeenth century, the lands of Cavelier de La Salle were mockingly nicknamed Lachine (La Chine, or China), as the explorer had set out to find a passage to China.
Associated eventsProduced for the “Un Lieu” sculpture symposium in Lachine in 1988, the artwork was then bequeathed to the Ville de Lachine by the Centre des arts contemporains du Québec à Montréal.
Jean-Marie Delavalle, born in Clermont-Ferrand, France, arrived in Québec when he was 10 years old. He studied sculpture and painting at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal from 1961 to 1965. In 1973, his work was presented in the group exhibition Boucherville, Montréal, Toronto, London, at the National Gallery of Canada, bringing him great visibility. His works are in numerous public and private collections, including those of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Montréal Museum of Fine Art, and the National Gallery of Canada.