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Ville de Montréal

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Octavian Olariu

Écluses

1988
Presentation of the artwork
Although it is abstract, Olariu’s sculpture evokes the mechanism of locks in the nearby Lachine Canal and refers to the pivoting of the sluice gates that regulate their water level. The artwork is composed of four stainless steel beams set in the ground at an angle, between which are set three more beams angled in the opposite direction. The grouping creates the impression of a movable joint.

Having first devoted himself to wood sculpture, in the late 1980s Olariu turned to stainless steel. He made a number of works, including Écluses, in which he explored a repertoire of forms with simple lines galvanized by this material. Many of these sculptures feature overlapping modules and the articulation of elements between them. They simulate a possible movement, a sequence. Here, the seaway facilities inspired the artist. As he has done in other of his works of public art, Olariu structured the elements so that they seem to have a mechanical quality or dynamic force that could lead to a change in their shape.
Associated events
Produced during 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.
Octavian Olariu
Romanian-born Octavian Olariu has lived and worked in Montréal since 1980. He studied at the Ion Andreescu fine arts institute in Cluj, Romania. In 1978, he was a guest of honour at the Venice Biennale, where he presented 10 wood sculptures. He is also known for having produced, in 1989, the largest monoxylous (made of a single piece of wood) sculpture in the world, in Osopo, Italy. Olariu has participated in numerous symposiums all over the world, and his works are in numerous public and private collections.
Awards and honours
  • Prix Ionel Jianu de l'Académie Roumaine-Américaine, 1993
Presentation of the artwork
Although it is abstract, Olariu’s sculpture evokes the mechanism of locks in the nearby Lachine Canal and refers to the pivoting of the sluice gates that regulate their water level. The artwork is composed of four stainless steel beams set in the ground at an angle, between which are set three more beams angled in the opposite direction. The grouping creates the impression of a movable joint.

Having first devoted himself to wood sculpture, in the late 1980s Olariu turned to stainless steel. He made a number of works, including Écluses, in which he explored a repertoire of forms with simple lines galvanized by this material. Many of these sculptures feature overlapping modules and the articulation of elements between them. They simulate a possible movement, a sequence. Here, the seaway facilities inspired the artist. As he has done in other of his works of public art, Olariu structured the elements so that they seem to have a mechanical quality or dynamic force that could lead to a change in their shape.
Associated events
Produced during 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.
Octavian Olariu
Romanian-born Octavian Olariu has lived and worked in Montréal since 1980. He studied at the Ion Andreescu fine arts institute in Cluj, Romania. In 1978, he was a guest of honour at the Venice Biennale, where he presented 10 wood sculptures. He is also known for having produced, in 1989, the largest monoxylous (made of a single piece of wood) sculpture in the world, in Osopo, Italy. Olariu has participated in numerous symposiums all over the world, and his works are in numerous public and private collections.
Awards and honours
  • Prix Ionel Jianu de l'Académie Roumaine-Américaine, 1993
Detail
Category
Fine Arts
Subcategory
Sculpture
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
1988
Mode of acquisition:
Transfer
Accession date
January 1 2002
Technique(s)
Welded
Materials
Stainless steel
General dimensions
415 x 111 x 135 cm
Écluses
Borough
Lachine
Park
Parc René-Lévesque