The fountain at the Delta Hotel

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The fountain was made in the 1983 by an unknown company.

+This is the seventh in an occasional series of videos on the fountains of Montreal+

Canadian Art Auction at Patrick Blaizel’s La Maison des Encans de Montréal

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On Sunday I went to Patrick Blaizel‘s La Maison des Encans de Montréal to see his auction of Canadian Art (and other things as well). I was only able to stay for 127 lots. By my count only 11 lots didn’t sell, which is a very big difference from the results at Iegor – Hôtel des Encans, where they only sold 46% of the lots.

By my calculations they grossed about $175,000 on those 116 lots. (Once again, take any figures I give with a grain of salt, trying to juggle a video camera, pen, paper and keep track of what happens is fraught with the possibility of making mistakes.) – All prices noted here include the 15% buyers premium and all local sales taxes. All the lots and how much they sold for are here.

The Auction Rules at Patrick Blaizel's La Maison des Encans de Montréal
The Auction Rules at Patrick Blaizel's La Maison des Encans de Montréal

Some of the highlights were paintings by Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté

A pastel painting on paper by Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté
A pastel painting on paper by Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté

and A.Y. Jackson.

Oil painting on panel by A.Y. Jackson
Oil painting on panel by A.Y. Jackson

Which sold for $3,930.41 and $22,272.34 respectively.

A gouache on paper painting attributed to Cornelius Krieghoff and a bronze sculpture by Louis-Philippe Hébert.

A gouache on paper painting attributed to Cornelius Krieghoff
A gouache on paper painting attributed to Cornelius Krieghoff
A bronze sculpture by Louis-Philippe Hébert
A bronze sculpture by Louis-Philippe Hébert

Which sold for $2,358.25 and $6,812.72 respectively.

An oil painting on board by R.W. Pilot.

An painting oil on board by R.W. Pilot
An painting oil on board by R.W. Pilot

Which sold for $9,170.96

An oil painting on panel by Marc-Aurèle Fortin.

An oil painting on panel by Marc-Aurèle Fortin
An oil painting on panel by Marc-Aurèle Fortin

And an oil painting on panel by J.W. Beatty.

An oil painting on panel by J.W. Beatty
An oil painting on panel by J.W. Beatty

Which sold for $12,446.31 and $10,088.06 respectively.

The altar with all the expensive pieces
The altar with all the expensive pieces

The lowlight of the auction had to be this painting by André Bergeron, which even when the opening bid was lowered down to $50, did not get a single bid.

A print by André Bergeron
A print by André Bergeron

But besides the obvious differences between the auctions of M. Blaizel and M. de Saint Hippolyte, M. Blaizel sold real estate, furniture, collectibles and other things besides the art, the thing that fascinated me was the differences in their style of selling art. M. Blaizel clearly points towards the current high bidder, talks with the audience, offers certificates of authenticity, tells the audience when something doesn’t meet the reserve price and in general is much more transparent in how he does business.

And it appears I’m a YouTube superstar, I’m all over this video from Iegor – Hôtel des Encans, that’s me in the white t-shirt with the glasses on a string.

Armand Vaillancourt at the Galerie Lounge TD

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Last week I went to see the Armand Vaillancourt exhibit at the Galerie Lounge TD in the Maison du Festival Rio Tinto Alcan. Off the top; I think that M. Vaillancourt is the bomb. Kick-Ass. About as close to godlike status you can get when you’re agnostic, atheistic or just can’t be bothered. So as advance warning, it is not likely that I am going to be objective.

The first thing that surprised me was that I wasn’t the only person in the gallery. I had heard that there had been some sort of peinture-en-direct event the week previous and figured that the folks behind the Jazz Festival, the Francofolies, the Hydro-Quebec festival of electricity (now that I write that name in jest, why hasn’t any Jewish, Hindu or Persian organization raised a fuss about Spectra completely co-opting Hanukah, Diwali and Chaharshanbe Suri? – For the agnostics, atheists and folk who just can’t be bothered in the house, Hanukah, Diwali and Chaharshanbe Suri some fairly heavy duty religious holidays that are also known as Festival of Light. The Spectra folk do this thing called the “Festival en lumiere” in order to rationalize how much money Hydro-Quebec gives them, that happens in February. Not that I’m saying anything. But just saying…

But I digress. Apologies. As I was saying, I completely and utterly expected to be the only person in the room, seeing as there hadn’t been any advertising that I had seen talking about how this was your last chance to see the Armand Vaillancourt exhibit. You know, the kind we’re about to be bombarded with for the Jean-Paul Gaultier show at the MBAM… But I wasn’t. There was actually a healthy crowd. I would venture a guess of about two dozen folk wandered in and around me during the hour that I hung out there. But as long as I’m being the extreme cynic, I’m convinced that all of them, all two dozen were heathen tourists from beyond our borders who wouldn’t know kick-ass art if it hit them in the ass and just were mindlessly following some hack tourist guide book that had taken journalistic shortcuts by republishing press releases issued by Spectra. Or maybe Spectra has started publishing tour guide books. I don’t know, but it was very surprising.

What wasn’t surprising, was that most of the work being exhibited was for sale and at very healthy prices I might add. Unfortunately I didn’t see any red dots signifying works that had sold. But that just might mean that the Spectra folk who are responsible for the gallery don’t know about red dots and how they are used to signify that a particular piece of art has in fact been sold. Although when I inquired at the desk (which thankfully was not staffed by a 20 year-old woman in a black micro mini skirt and 12 inch heels) if there was a list of all the works in the show, I was told that all the information was on the wall tags. Which would lead me to believe that if I had indeed (or one of the tourists) wanted to purchase a piece I would have been given M. Vaillancourt’s telephone number and told to contact him myself. So my best guess would be that a) nothing sold and b) that the Spectra folk don’t know about red dots.

But enough about the organization of the show, what about the art? Well, it was mostly made up of painting and prints. There were a couple of sculptures scattered about the room along with a couple of political pieces as well. The paintings and prints expressing quite clearly that M. Vaillancourt is an amazing sculptor. The political pieces show he has a great sense of humor but is better served earning his living as a sculptor than as a stand up comedian.

Installation view of the Armand Vaillancourt exhibit at the Galerie Lounge TD
Installation view of the Armand Vaillancourt exhibit at the Galerie Lounge TD

There’s not much that can be said about the colorful abstract paintings. Well actually there is an awful lot that can be said about them. Things like the colors, the method of application to the canvas, the density, the patterns that they create and lots more. So if I were to be more precise, there’s not an awful lot that I want to say about the colorful abstract paintings. And even less about the monochromatic abstract prints. They are perfectly suited for hotels, large corporations and benefit auctions, all places where people like having “serious” art but really don’t spend all that much time looking at it and where the name “Armand Vaillancourt” will elicit sage head nodding and depending on what benefit auction or large corporation certain feelings of Quebecois pride.

American Imperialism by Armand Vaillancourt
American Imperialism by Armand Vaillancourt

One look at the political pieces and you get the point. They’re the proverbial one-trick pony. Which depending on your point of view is either exactly how they are supposed to work; get the point across quickly, easily and forcefully. Or their downfall; simplistic, lacking any depth and cartoonish. I tend to think of them as both. Sort of like a three-dimensional editorial cartoon designed to bring attention to some cause through the use of M. Vaillancourt’s name. It would be nice to have shown some of the more obscure causes that M. Vaillancourt supports instead of going for well-known and easy ones. But no one asked me.

Place Publique by Armand Vaillancourt (I think)
Place Publique by Armand Vaillancourt (I think)

Which pretty much leaves us the maquettes or sculptures. There were four of them. If I remember correctly, they were called something like “Place Publique” or something else equally memorable (as an aside I made the complete and utter faux-pas of neither taking notes, nor taking pictures of the wall tags. I was totally unprofessional. Does anybody have a wet noodle handy? And sorry, I promise it won’t happen again.

Place Publique by Armand Vaillancourt (I think)
Place Publique by Armand Vaillancourt (I think)

But now that I have that out of the way, I gotta say that despite the silly cutouts of people from magazines, that they were drop-dead gorgeous and amazing. I, honest to god, caught myself on a couple of times doing one of those reverse whistle intakes of breath and even once letting out a long low whistle. If they hadn’t been playing so much music from the 1980s in the place where I’ve been writing this, I might have even gone so far as to quote the band Berlin.

All but one were on stainless steel bases and used (what I presume) were recycled bits of metal to create forms based on symmetry and repetition. They kind of prove (to me at least) that M. Vaillancourt is a master of the form (or should I write that Master of the Form?) At some point I’m going to have to ask him how he came up with the ideas for them and how difficult it was to make them. From the monochromatic prints it is possible to see how they would lead to the maquettes. And I truly hope that they are indeed maquettes and not fully realized sculptures, because they would be breathtaking if blown up to monument size.

Place Publique by Armand Vaillancourt (I think)
Place Publique by Armand Vaillancourt (I think)

Unfortunately my snapshots don’t do them the justice that they deserve. Some of them were placed directly in front of windows and I haven’t quite figured out what buttons I need to push on my camera when objects that I want to photograph are back lit and I also am not in the habit of carrying around a set of lights with me. Next time, I promise.

Beyond that, there wasn’t much. It kind of left me torn, one one side I really really liked the maquettes or sculptures. On the other side everything else kind of seemed “meh.” And while “I think that M. Vaillancourt is the bomb. Kick-Ass. About as close to godlike status you can get when you’re agnostic, atheistic or just can’t be bothered.” This show did nothing really to support my belief. I dunno, maybe the out and out commercialism in the “Galerie Lounge TD” or the way that everything was set up more as if it was a store than an art gallery had a stronger influence than I would like to admit.

The fountain on Prince Arthur street in between de Bullion and Hotel de ville

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The fountain was made in the 1982 by an unknown company.

+This is the sixth in an occasional series of videos on the fountains of Montreal+

Some Public Art on Île Sainte-Hélène

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Earlier this month I was out and about on Île Sainte-Hélène (hence the video of the fountain at the Biosphere…) and while I was there I snapped some shots of some of the non-Calder public art that was there.

Part of the Korean Pavillion from Expo 67
Part of the Korean Pavillion from Expo 67

If you want to see what it originally looked like, try this.

Bird Houses on the pond in front of the Biosphere.
Bird Houses on the pond in front of the Biosphere.
Signe Solaire by Jean leFébure
Signe Solaire by Jean leFébure
Signe Solaire by Jean leFébure
Signe Solaire by Jean leFébure

Jean leFébure‘s website is here.

Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián
Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián
Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián
Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián
Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián
Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián
Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián
Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián
Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián
Puerta de la Amistad by Sebastián

Sebastián‘s website is here.

Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida
Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida
Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida
Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida
Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida
Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida
Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida
Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida
Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida
Ville imaginaire by João Charters de Almeida

João Charters de Almeida‘s website is here.

Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau
Phare du Cosmos by Yves Trudeau

Yves Trudeau’s wikipedia page is here.

Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil
Girafes by Robert Roussil

My new nominee for most obscure piece of public art in Montreal. Not only is it on a part of Île Sainte-Hélène where no one goes, it is half obscured by a bush! Took me over half an hour to find it. Robert Roussil‘s website is here.

Kwakiutl Totem by Tony and Henry Hunt
Kwakiutl Totem by Tony and Henry Hunt
Kwakiutl Totem by Tony and Henry Hunt
Kwakiutl Totem by Tony and Henry Hunt
Kwakiutl Totem by Tony and Henry Hunt
Kwakiutl Totem by Tony and Henry Hunt

The Kwakiutl website is here. Tony Hunt‘s website is here. And Henry Hunt’s wikipedia page is here.

Wallace Fountain by Charles-Auguste Lebourg
Wallace Fountain by Charles-Auguste Lebourg
Wallace Fountain by Charles-Auguste Lebourg
Wallace Fountain by Charles-Auguste Lebourg

Initially I was extremely disappointed. I was thinking it would be some grandiose fountain spewing and spouting water all over the place. Then to only find a trickle… But there is this extremely informative article on wikipedia explaining all about Wallace Fountains and their purpose. Charles-Auguste Lebourg’s wikipedia page is here.

L’Arc by Michel de Broin
L’Arc by Michel de Broin
L’Arc by Michel de Broin
L’Arc by Michel de Broin

Michel de Broin‘s website is here.

Sadly, when I was there, Obélisque oblique by Henri-Georges Adam was not viewable due to construction. I couldn’t find Migration by Robert Roussil. The Moai Head was being restored. And Oh Homme by Yvette Bisson was marked on the map, but was nowhere to be found, and does not appear on the website.

I’ve written to the Bureau d’art public asking about the three and as soon as I have any news, I’ll let you know.

Update, September 28: Oh Homme, Obélisque oblique and the Moai Head are all currently being restored. Obélisque oblique will be returned in 2013, the Moai Head within the next year, and it isn’t known when or where Oh Homme will be returned.

The fountain at the Biosphere

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The fountain was made in 1967 by Cambridge Seven Associates.

+This is the fifth in an occasional series of videos on the fountains of Montreal+

More Urban Foraging in Montreal

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This time on de L’Esplanade going south from Bernard.

Grapes on de L'Esplanade
Grapes on de L'Esplanade
And still More Grapes on de L'Esplanade
And still More Grapes on de L'Esplanade
More Grapes on de L'Esplanade
More Grapes on de L'Esplanade
Apples on de L'Esplanade
Apples on de L'Esplanade
Another view of Apples on de L'Esplanade
Another view of Apples on de L'Esplanade
Pears on de L'Esplanade
Pears on de L'Esplanade
More Pears on de L'Esplanade
More Pears on de L'Esplanade
Still more grapes on de L'Esplanade
Still more grapes on de L'Esplanade
I think those are raspberries
I think those are raspberries
I'm not certain what those are (they might be grapes...)
I'm not certain what those are (they might be grapes...)
Raspberries on de L'Esplanade
Raspberries on de L'Esplanade
Raspberries (did I mention that I adore raspberries?)
Raspberries (did I mention that I adore raspberries?)
I think that's a tomato
I think that's a tomato
Another picture of the unknown fruit
Another picture of the unknown fruit
And a close up. If anyone knows what this is, I'd be most grateful.
And a close up. If anyone knows what this is, I'd be most grateful.