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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Marcel Barbeau

Liberté, liberté chérie

Presentation of the artwork
Situated near Lake St. Louis, Liberté, liberté chérie, evoking sails swollen by the wind, is harmoniously integrated with its host environment. The white abstract sculpture is composed of cut-out planes with clean angles and curves that define volumes largely open to the exterior while converging toward the interior through a play of oblique lines.

This work was preceded by a series of small steel sculptures produced to explore the possibilities for assembling cut-out planes in clean angles and curves. White, giving a sense of airborne, the work makes room for the visitor’s body to circulate among its components. Visitors can thus appreciate differently the relationship among the elements and their scale: “The sculpture Liberté, liberté chérie even allows viewers to penetrate within the parts of the artwork. They measure the space with their body, bending over as needed to follow the meanders.”

The sculpture was used in a performance by Jocelyne Montpetit in 1999, for the film Barbeau libre comme l’art directed by Manon Barbeau.
Associated events
Liberté, liberté chérie was produced for the second Symposium de la sculpture de Lachine, “L’an II – Lachine, carrefour de l’art et de l’industrie, an event organized by the Lachine Canal in summer 1986.
Marcel Barbeau
Marcel Barbeau was born in Montréal and studied furniture design at the École du meuble de Montréal. There, he met Paul-Émile Borduas, his drawing professor, and he attended Borduas’s studio from 1944 to 1953. At the time, Barbeau was participating in the activities of the Automatists, and he was one of the signatories of the Refus global in 1948.

Mainly a painter and sculptor, Barbeau was among the first artists in Canada to explore expressionism. His artworks have been on display in North America, Europe, and North Africa and are in numerous public and private collections.
Awards and honours
  • Prix du Gouverneur général en arts visuels et arts médiatiques du Conseil des Arts du Canada, 2013
  • Cinquième Prix de Peinture, 3ième Biennale d’art contemporain, Florence, Italie , 2001
  • Réception à l'Académie royale des arts du Canada, 1993
  • Prix Zack Académie royale du Canada, 1964
Fine Arts
Collection name
Public art
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Accession date
January 1, 2002
Welded, bolted, painted
Steel (sheets)
General dimensions
344 x 426 x 386 cm
Liberté, liberté chérie
Port de plaisance