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Art Public

Ville de Montréal

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Vittorio Fiorucci

Une leçon d'histoire

Presentation of the artwork
The artwork is composed of three chairs. One of them is set apart, near the box office for the cultural centre. It is cast in burnished bronze and attached to the ground. A book, also cast in burnished bronze, is placed on the seat of the chair. The two other chairs are in the lobby leading to the theatre. One, in bronze, is also attached to the floor. The other, made of oak and leather, is attached to the wall to the left of the staircase leading to the theatre, six feet up from the floor. This element is installed in such a way that the seat is visible from the access ramp to the library. Two books are glued onto the chair: one with a leather binding on which one can read “Leçon d’histoire” (History lesson), and the other open to reveal a comic strip featuring Victor, the famous character created by the artist that became the green-coloured mascot of the Just For Laughs Festival.

These different interrelated elements offer an enigmatic narrative structure open to interpretation. It is difficult to imagine what history lesson the artist wishes to portray. However, the presence of his famous green-coloured character with the red horns might lead us to think that he wants to claim its paternity while creating a connection between his sculpture practice and his work as an illustrator.
Associated events
The artwork was designed for construction of Bibliothèque Frontenac, in 1989.
Vittorio Fiorucci
Born to Italian parents in Yugoslavia, Vittorio Fiorucci arrived in Montréal at the age of 19 and became friends with many local artists, including Guido Molinari, Jean-Paul Mousseau, and Armand Vaillancourt. By turns illustrator, graphic designer, writer, caricaturist, photographer, set designer, cartoonist, publisher, and sculptor, he is known mainly for his illustrations and is among the best-known Canadian poster artists on the international scene. One of his cartoon characters became the famous Just for Laughs Festival mascot, Victor.
Awards and honours
  • Élu membre honoraire, Société des designers graphiques du Québec, 2008
  • Prix Sam-Lapointe, Institut de Design Montréal, 2001
  • Prix Hommage CAPIC, Association canadienne des photographes et des illustrateurs en communications., 2000
  • Prix Mobius, International Advertising Awards de Chicago, 1998
  • Prix de mérite, 10th Lathi Poster Biennal, Finlande, 1981
  • Prix d'excellence, Pavillon de l'humour, Terre des Hommes, 1980
  • Prix Excellence, Toronto Art Director's Club Exhibition, 1979
  • Premier prix "Best of Show", Deuxième Prix "Best of Design" et Prix de mérite, Chigago'78 Graphic Art Exhibition., 1978
  • Prix d'excellence, Médaille d'or et Prix de mérite exceptionnel, Grafica., 1967
  • Premier prix, Czech International Poster Contest, 1964
Fine Arts
Collection name
Integration with architecture
Date completed
Mode of acquisition
Accession date
January 1, 1989
Cast; carved; burnished; glued; sprayed
Metal; wood; epoxy; book
  • Brunet, Claire
  • Les Ateliers Rémi Bilodeau inc
  • Hamel, Denis
Une leçon d'histoire
Maison de la culture Janine-Sutto
Civic address
2550, rue Ontario Est, Montréal, Québec, H2K 1W7