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Armand Vaillancourt

Le chien du Québec

1972
Presentation of the artwork
The presence of this artwork in Saint-Louis Square institutes a striking contrast among urban landscape, nature, and industry. On a base made of wood beams is placed a rough, irregularly shaped, ramified mass of iron.

In the middle of an urban park, the raw, abstract mineral volume bears the trace of a fabrication process emblematic of Vaillancourt’s artistic approach. Preferring industrial materials and techniques to traditional sculpture, the iconoclastic artist used a technique uncommon at the time, consisting of assembling carved and broken pieces of Styrofoam to create the cast for the piece.

The different textures produced by this method of casting iron invite viewers to have a tactile experience of the sculpture. Direct contact with the artwork – in contrast to limits prescribed in museums – was in fact the central theme of the event for which the work was installed in this site.
Associated events
The work was displayed for the first time at the event Fête de l’œil et de la main. This outdoor exhibition of paintings and sculptures was organized in the summer of 1972, at Saint-Louis Square, by neighbourhood residents who wanted to encourage the “cultural enhancement of the population.” 1 1. “Fête de l’œil et de la main,” La Presse, 1972 (our translation).
Armand Vaillancourt
Born in Black Lake, this Québec artist was trained at the University of Ottawa and the École des beaux-arts de Montréal in the 1950s and is known for having upset well-established traditions in Québec, notably through his political engagement and his sculptural work.

Vaillancourt’s long and prolific career has featured by large-scale projects in the public space, including L'humain, a sculpture commissioned by the École des arts et métiers d’Asbestos (1963); Québec libre!, a fountain sculpture for San Francisco’s Embarcadero (1971); and Justice!, an anti-apartheid artwork executed for the Palais de justice de Québec (1983).
Awards and honours
  • Chevalier, Ordre national du Québec, 2004
  • Artiste pour la Paix, Artistes pour la Paix, 1994
  • prix Paul-Émile-Borduas, 1993
  • 1961-1963, premier prix, Salon du Printemps, Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal, 1961
  • prix de la jeune sculpture canadienne, 1959
  • premier prix, Hadassah, Montréal (aussi en 1959, 1962, 1966), 1958
Detail
Variation of title
Non titrée (square Saint-Louis) Sans Titre
Category
Fine Arts
Subcategory
Sculpture
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
1972
Mode of acquisition:
Deposit
Accession date
January 1 1972
Technique(s)
Cast; painted
Materials
Cast iron; paint
General dimensions
97 x 167 x 183 cm
Le chien du Québec
Borough
Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
Park
Square Saint-Louis