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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Michel Goulet

Les leçons singulières (volet 2)

Presentation of the artwork
The second part of Michel Goulet’s Les leçons singulières is composed of six unmatched chairs and a table-sculpture reproducing the relief features of Parc La Fontaine. The sculptural grouping, made of bronze and stainless steel, stands out for its accessibility. These artefacts of daily life, skilfully diverted from their primary functions, enhance the experience of the site. The chairs, arranged in an arc facing the park, offer a breathtaking view of nature, whereas the map provides orientation.

The objects that personalize the chairs also reflect citizens’ use of the site. A newspaper, shoes, a ball, binoculars, and a lunch bag remind viewers that the park is a common site, a shared space encouraging ritual experiences such as sociability, friendliness, and encounters. The artist considers the artwork “a metaphor for the relationships among people and peoples in their sharing of space and their perception of it.”
Associated events
The installation in the Léo-Ayotte belvedere constituted the second part of a public art project begun in 1989, the first launched since the adoption that year of the Ville de Montréal’s action plan respecting public art. The other part of Goulet’s work is in Place Roy.
Michel Goulet
Born in Asbestos in 1944, Michel Goulet studied art at the Université du Québec à Montréal. A number of his large-scale projects are in the form of poem-chairs anchored to the ground in public areas, such as the ones temporarily installed at the southwest entrance to Central Park in New York (1990) and those in Place de la Gare in Québec City (2008). Goulet explored this concept when he represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in 1988. His works of public art are also on display in Toronto, Lyon, and Paris.

He had a retrospective exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2004.
Awards and honours
  • Ordre national du Canada, 2012
  • Docteur d'honneur, Université de Sherbrooke, 2010
  • Membre de l'Académie royale des arts du Canada, 2009
  • Prix du Gouverneur général en arts visuels et en arts médiatiques , Conseil des Arts du Canada, 2008
  • Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, 1990
Variation of title
Les leçons singulières (deuxième partie)
Fine Arts
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Public commission from the Ville de Montréal
Accession date
May 1, 1991
Cast; cut out; shaped
Bronze; brass; stainless steel
General dimensions
96 x 1800 x 1120 cm
  • Fonderie d'art d'Inverness Inc.
  • Atelier Métatechno
Les leçons singulières (volet 2)
Le Plateau-Mont-Royal
Parc La Fontaine