Abstract art highlighted to the prime minister’s residence

Photo: Francis Vachon, The Duty
The paintings newly installed in the apartment of function of the prime minister in Quebec

Marco Bélair-Cirino and

Dave Christmas

in Quebec city

December 21, 2018

  • Quebec

The door of the elevator reserved for the family primoministérielle opens on the 16th floor of the Price building. It is the commotion in the hallway. The employees of the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ) hang carefully Tacalamine of Jacques Hurtubise at the stone wall. The bubble level gives his blessing. They are a step back. Explosion of colors at the entrance of the official residence of the prime minister.

“It says : it is modern. It says : we are open, ” says the wife of François Legault, Isabelle Brais.

Inside the canvas there was a white, also by Jacques Hurtubise, monopolizes the gaze of those who cast an eye in the main room of the apartment of function, in which a dining room and a lounge have been built.

At the opposite wall, the room No. 13 of Kittie Bruneau triumph with the glow of the winter sun, above a buffet. Ms. Brais was noticed inside the office of the director of the office of the prime minister. Conquered, she chose to give life to his pied-à-terre in the capital.

Acrylic on canvas black and white “made it possible to balance the living room, before placing of the parts that were going to do breaths,” explains the curator of the collection for the Loan of works of art at the MNBAQ, Maude Lévesque. She accompanied the couple Legault-Brais in the choice of works which now adorn the apartments of the leader of the government in the Price building as well as in the building Honoré-Mercier, Quebec city.

Like other agents of the State — the president of the national Assembly, the secretary and the heads of opposition, for example, the prime minister may decorate his office by commandeering works from the permanent collection of the MNBAQ. “The privilege of the prince “, it can also turn to him to decorate the official residence.

L’art abstrait mis en valeur à la résidence du premier ministre

Photo: Francis Vachon, The Duty
The canvas “It was white”, by Jacques Hurtubise

“It is a huge privilege,” says dr. Brais, who was awarded a double of the keys of the building Price after the electoral victory of the Coalition avenir Québec.

The transition at the top of the State quebec has been the opportunity to rejuvenate some of the main room of the residence, which is fenestrée on three sides, in the stripping of the wallpaper, curtains and draperies, which the alourdissaient.” This is the first time that we have a space that is also welcoming for works of art, ” notes Ms. Lévesque. Before, it was propitious to the ancient art because of the decor. It would not have been able to come up with a piece like that of Jacques Hurtubise, because this would have been a little unsettling. “

Sudden of works of abstract art, Ms. Brais wanted to create “an atmosphere of joy, of tenderness” in housing provided by the State. To achieve this, she has also made an appeal to the parts No. 78-249 Louise Robert, Drift of Rita Letendre, and the series of acrylic bundle of nerves Monique Regimbald-Zeiber.

“You can’t stay insensitive. You look at this and you’re so much of a good mood. Art makes people happy, ” says Ms. Brais, while pointing to the room there was a white.

“With this movement, Hurtubise creates something so strong “, said the great connoisseur of contemporary art, bright eyes.

“Not kitsch “

The former director of the MNBAQ, John R. Porter, describes the choice made by the couple primoministériel of” articulated “, or even, in different ways, as” bold “. “There is no kitsch in there,” says-t it. The specialist noted a strong representation of emerging artists and of women among the selected artists. “It is political “, is it of the opinion.

The art historian Laurier Lacroix finds a net interest for the contemporary works. “There are of course a few classic, well recognized by the market and the critical, as Bellefleur, Daudelin, Letendre, Sullivan, Hurtubise, Goodwin, but also works that represent a taste of more staff, as Lasnier, Bruneau and Louise Robert. “

In winning his office, the first minister may admire the lush greenery of the paintings of Marc-Aurèle Fortin. “There may be a sensitivity to ecological issues,” says Mr. Porter. Mr. Legault seems to once again favour the kind with the oil I herborise of Alfred Pellan, that can be found clinging to the top of one of the armchairs. The canvas has accompanied for a few days the mysterious Code (No. 2 of Charles Gagnon. This one, however, has not managed to win the prime minister. “To his office, the image is more conservative,” says Laurier Lacroix.

Like its predecessors, the prime minister grants a place of choice to its northerly location in its main office, opening its doors to the sculpture Hunter attacking a walrus, Charlie Inukpuk and to Surf the Web, for a bee, Mattiusi Iyaituk. “We note the works of inuit service, said Mr. Lacroix. It is not yet past for artists from indigenous communities and visible minorities. “

“Where it is the most significant thing is always in the office of the prime minister and in the meeting room. It’s, generally, what are the tables are the strongest on the plan of what they want to declare or affirm, ” says John R. Porter.

The choice of works has not been guided by political considerations, argues Isabelle Brais. That said, ” Francis is the prime minister of all Quebecers “, she says.

The choice of Ms. Brais contrast with those made by the prime ministers up here. Moreover, it was waiting with some trepidation the reaction of her spouse, who was outside during the installation of the works she has chosen. “I have Hurtubise, nothing too beautiful. I admit that I am spoiled, ” quipped Mr. Legault in a radio interview the next morning.

John R. Porter warns the people authorized to make a loan in the national collection against any “special attachment” to a work. The return of the parts does not always come without pain. “The people clung so much to such-and-such a table as [some] were organised to keep the work longer, “” he says.
 

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