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Ville de Montréal

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André Fournelle

La ville blanche

1986
Presentation of the artwork
La ville blanche is installed in Parc René-Lévesque. Set between two bodies of water on a large stretch of land ending in a row of poplars, the artwork sublimates the landscape. Eight large steel trapezoids encircle a white granite column. The sculptural elements, arranged in concentric circles – forming a bull’s-eye if seen from above – are organized on geometrical principles. A metaphor for navigation and transition, the monumental work, which evokes an image of a moored ship, is an invitation to contemplation, play, and relaxation.

The work is also a tribute to passing time, like the film to which its title makes reference. Indeed, Fournelle was inspired by Alain Tanner’s 1983 movie Dans la ville blanche, about a sailor’s trip to Lisbon, where he experiences a city in which time seems to have been suspended.
Associated events
La ville blanche was produced for the second Lachine Sculpture Symposium, “L’an II, Lachine, carrefour de l’art et de l’industrie,” an event organized on the edge of the Lachine Canal in the summer of 1986.
André Fournelle
André Fournelle studied sculpture by taking workshops in the United States, Italy, Belgium, France, and Germany. His work results from a fusion of various sources of inspiration, including natural elements (water, earth, air, fire), simple geometric forms (circle, triangle, square, cross), and currents of art history (Russian constructivism, pop art, Viennese actionism).

A prolific producer of artworks since 1965, he has created a number of artworks integrated with architecture, including Un moment vivant (2000), at the Taipei airport in Taiwan, and outdoor interventions such as Spirale (1989), a tribute to Robert Smithson, displayed in the Death Valley desert of California.
Awards and honours
  • prix Aménagement Télé-Québec Les Arts et la Ville (avec Simon Bouffard et Claude Chaussard), 2007
  • Représente le Québec aux Jeux de la francophonie, 1994
Detail
Category
Fine Arts
Subcategory
Installation
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
1986
Mode of acquisition:
Transfer
Accession date
January 1 2002
Technique(s)
Cut out; welded; bolted; pierced; cast
Materials
Steel; granite
General dimensions
650 x 2400
La ville blanche
Borough
Lachine
Park
Parc René-Lévesque