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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Claude Théberge


Presentation of the artwork
Force consists of a fountain-sculpture composed of seven concrete monoliths each fractured into two pieces. Installed in the centre of two juxtaposed pools, the monoliths are arranged vertically in parallel. The fractures within each monolith are serrated, producing a number of angular points from which water jets spout.

This work refers to a practice based on technical issues related to materials. For the artist, it symbolizes natural resources and bespeaks his fascination with the power of concrete: “I like working with concrete because it is hard, healthy, powerful. It is a material that is particularly well suited to northern countries.”
Associated events
The artwork was produced when Viger Square, situated on the site of an old public garden dating from the nineteenth century, was reconfigured. The old square, among the most beautiful gardens in the downtown core, and its hundred-year-old trees were slated to be razed for construction of the Ville-Marie tunnel in 1976. Jointly with the Ville de Montréal, the Ministère des Transports du Québec asked artists Charles Daudelin, Claude Théberge, and Peter Gnass to produce a public square on the site.
Claude Théberge
At age 16, Claude Théberge was admitted to the graphic art program at the École des beaux-arts de Québec, where he studied with Jean-Paul Lemieux and Jean Dallaire from 1950 to 1954. From 1954 to 1960, he lived in Paris, where he studied, successively, at the École nationale supérieure des beaux-arts, the École du Louvre, André Lhote’s academy, and the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. In 1963, having returned to Montréal, he founded Atelier Claude Théberge, bringing together 10 artists from various disciplines interested in the integration of arts with architecture, including Marcel Gendreau.
Awards and honours
  • Invité d'honneur au salon du Printemps de Clichy–La–Garenne, France. Médaille d'or, prix du jury, prix du public, prix des jeunes., 1992
  • Médaille de bronze du Lieutement-Gouverneur, 1954
  • 1er prix, concours international d'affiches pour la paix de l'ONU., 1952
Fine Arts
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Accession date
December 17, 1987
Concrete; water; ceramics
General dimensions
330 x 2900 x 4500 cm
Square Viger