Presentation of the artworkThe artwork is composed of two bas-reliefs on either side of the north entrance doors to the Maurice Richard Arena. The composition portrays sports figures, which are sculpted directly into the stone. Direct carving, the artist’s favourite technique, is here highlighted by the pure, stylized forms.
Although he had to deal with more realistic commissions for artworks throughout his career, robbing him of some freedom, for the artwork at the Maurice Richard Arena Filion proceeded without the slightest concern about distancing himself from the naturalist aesthetic to display a more personal, experimental style, almost approaching primitivism. Breaking with the norms of the time, this artwork is a good illustration of the transition toward modernism in sculpture.
Associated eventsThe artwork was integrated with the architecture of the Maurice Richard Arena when it was built, in 1961.
Armand Filion graduated from the École des beaux-arts de Montréal (1927–31), where he began studying when he was 17 years old. Barely 21, he became a drawing teacher at the Commission des écoles catholiques de Montréal. His meeting with French architect Dom Bellot was life-changing, as Bellot piqued his interest in sculpture. From 1942 to 1968, in addition to producing a number of religious sculptures and integration with architecture projects, he taught at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal, where he founded the sculpture section.
Awards and honours
- Grand Prix de sculpture aux concours artistiques de la province , 1959
- Première Médaille de l'Institut royale d’architecture du Canada, 1953
- Deuxième Grand Prix de sculpture aux concours artistiques de la province, 1953