Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion of Quebec and Canadian Art
Each of the pavilion's six levels spotlights a historical period for which a specifically designed presentation enables a better understanding and appreciation of Quebec and Canadian art.
Level 4 - Inuit art is presented in a gallery adjoining a glass court featuring natural lighting from above and a panoramic view of Mount Royal. Soaring walls evocative of the polar ice pack and icebergs are the backdrop to the pieces in this collection, placed in modular display units whose straight lines, like the rays of light entering from the portholes along the gallery entrance, contrast with the artworks' organic forms.
The Museum wishes to thank Hydro-Québec for supporting the presentation of Inuit art on this level.
Level 3 - Founding Identities (1700s–1870s) features the beginnings of Canadian art. The art of Canada's First Nations, both historical and contemporary, is included on this level of the pavilion in order to highlight their critical look back at their contacts with the Europeans who came to settle the country. Two alcoves present the Museum's collection of silver, like the treasures of two chapels; a moving wooden roadside cross stands at the gallery entrance, while, further on, a showcase featuring the heritage of the Northwest Coast calls to mind Canada's vast stretches of forest.
The Museum wishes to acknowledge Power Corporation of Canada's contribution to the presentation of the collection in this gallery.
Level 2 - The Era of Annual Exhibitions (1880s–1920s) provides an interpretation of the first annual exhibitions of Canadian art held at the Museum. This section enhances the Museum's major holdings of works by Ozias Leduc, James Wilson Morrice and Alfred Laliberté. Here, paintings hung one above the other in the style of the salon style are combined with many sculptures placed along a platform. In addition, a simulation of an artist's studio features a wall of oil sketches and a display case showing plaster casts and terracotta models.
The Museum thanks Reitmans (Canada) Limited for making it possible to present works from our heritage in this gallery.
Level 1 - Towards Modernism (1920s–1930s) reveals the first groupings of modern artists. With a space opening out on a dynamic perspective that splits the area in two, adorned on one side by intimate alcoves recalling the time when commercial art galleries played a dominant role, this gallery reflects a multiplicity of viewpoints. A special space is reserved in this area for the works of Marc-Aurèle Fortin.
The Museum recognizes the National Bank of Canada for its contribution to the presentation of the collection on this level.
Level S1 - The Age of the Manifesto (1940s–1960s) fosters an appreciation of the works by those artists who signed the Prisme d'Yeux, Refus global or Manifeste des Plasticiens, and the Museum's remarkable holdings of art by the major figures of the period, including Alfred Pellan, Paul-Émile Borduas and Jean-Paul Riopelle. An entire gallery is devoted to Riopelle from his Automatiste period up until the 1970s. These open-concept galleries will serve as a powerful reflection of the provocative generation that wanted to reinvent the world.
The Museum is grateful to Andrée and Pierre H. Lessard for their valuable support, which has permitted the presentation of these works on this level.
Level S2 - Expanding Fields (1960s–1970s) presents impressive works by, among others, a mature Riopelle – including The Ice Canoe (1992) – Louis Archambault, Greg Curnoe, Jean McEwen, Guido Molinari, Michael Snow and Claude Tousignant. This huge, completely open 45-metre-long gallery, which can also be viewed from the mezzanine of the floor above, sets the stage for the works from this period, monumental in terms of both their size and international calibre. This exhibition space, called the Mountain Gallery, links the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion to the rest of the Museum complex.
The Museum would like to thank the J. A. Bombardier Foundation for its support of the creation of this gallery.
© Photo Bernard Fougères