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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Robert Roussil

Hommage à René Lévesque

Presentation of the artwork
This artwork was commissioned from sculptor Robert Roussil by the Ville de Lachine, to commemorate René Lévesque’s political career. Installed in the park bearing the name of the former premier of Québec, the sculpture is a grouping of nine cylindrical concrete columns mounted on pedestals – one for each of the nine years that Lévesque spent at the head of the Québec government. The columns are topped with undulating shapes that simulate flames and symbolize beacons, symbols of ascension and affirmation. The columns have an integrated lighting system, and they stand out against the sky like chimneys spitting flames. This tribute artwork draws from Roussil’s formal repertoire; the undulating shapes resemble the slender points on the artwork La Grande Fonte (1973) and those in a grouping created for the Ville de Saint-Laurent in 1990. Working here in concrete, Roussil is able to create the same vibrancy that he had previously achieved with his artworks made of wood.
Associated events
René Lévesque was born on 24 August 1922 in Campbellton, New Brunswick. A war correspondent for the American army and a radio and television host, Lévesque decided to enter politics in 1960, when he was elected to the National Assembly of Québec for Liberal Party of Québec. He founded the Parti québécois in 1968 and was premier of Québec for nine years, from 1976 to 1985. In power, he adopted a number of reforms, notably concerning the funding of political parties and automobile insurance. Throughout his life, Lévesque was a tireless promoter of Québec independence. He died in Montréal on 1 November 1987.
Robert Roussil
A former member of the military, Robert Roussil (Montréal 1925–Tourettes-sur-Loup 2013) received his artistic education at the school of decorative arts and design at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts (1945–46). His wood sculptures – habitable spheres and monumental modular structures – challenged, sometimes controversially, the function of public and private spaces.

Roussil participated in symposiums in Yugoslavia, Montréal, and Grenoble and produced numerous large-scale public art projects in Québec and abroad, including a sculpture park on the roof of a wastewater treatment plant in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France.
Fine Arts
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Accession date
January 1, 2002
Moulded cement
Cement; stainless steel; glass, light
General dimensions
518 x 1829 x 457 cm
Hommage à René Lévesque
Parc René-Lévesque