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The First International Sculpture Symposium in North America

 The First International Sculpture Symposium in North America

This artistic event was the first of its kind to be held in North America. Eleven sculptors from nine countries were invited to sculp a monumental work with no technical restrictions, in one location and within a limited period of time.

"In the studio, the sculptor is alone and can only make objects. We all dream of creating huge works, but we no longer have the means. The symposium resolves all communication problems. By bringing together a dozen sculptors from all over the world in a two-month period, communication among the artists is made possible. By letting them work under the open sky, on the site where the works will remain, the symposium invites sculptors to communicate with nature, to create works on a human scale."

Robert Roussil, sculptor

 

International Sculpture Symposium in Montréal

Date: Summer 1964
Type: International
Place: Mount-Royal Park
Organizers: Robert Roussil, Denys Chevalier, Otto Bengle, Pothier Ferland, Jacques Melançon
Property of : City of Montréal
Number of sculptors: 12


Sculptors :

Irving Burman (Canada)

Augustin Cardenas (Cuba)

Louis Chavignier (France)

Eloul Kosso (Israël)

Krishna-Reddy (India)

Josef Phillhofer (Austria)

Robert Roussil (Canada)

Carlo Sergio Signori (Italy)

Yerassimos Sklavos (Greece)

Pierre Szekely (Hungary)

Armand Vaillancourt (Canada)

Shirley Witebsky (America)

 

 

Irving Burman, Untitled, 1964
Limestone. H: 2,13 m.
Photographer: Marc-André Gagné
© Les amis de la montagne's Collection


 

Augustin Cardenas, Untitled, 1964
Limestone. Height: 3.35 m
Photographer: Marc-André Gagné
© Estate of Augustin Cardenas / SODRAC (2008)

Louis Chavignier, Le Carrousel sauvage, 1964
Limestone H: 3,14m.
Photographer: Marc-André Gagné
© Estate of Louis Chavignier / SODRAC (2008)

Eloul Kosso, Optimax, 1964
Limestone and concrete. H: 2.94 m
Photographe: Marc-André Gagné
© Les amis de la montagne Collection

Krishna Reddy, Untitled, 1964
Marbre. H: 3.32 m
Photographer: Marc-André Gagné
© Les amis de la montagne Collection
 

Shirley Witebsky, Untitled, 1964
Marble. H: 1.82 m
Photographe: Marc-André Gagné
© Les amis de la montagne Collection
 

Joseph Pillhofer, Untitled, 1964
Limestone. H: 3.35 m
Photographer: Marc-André Gagné
© Joseph Pillhofer / SODRAC (2008)

Robert Roussil, Untitled, 1964
Metal rods and copper plates. H: 12 m
Dismantled sculpture
Photographer: Marc-André Gagné
© Les amis de la montagne Collection

Sergio Signori, Untitled, 1964
Marble. H: 2.74 m
Photographer: Marc-André Gagné
© Les amis de la montagne Collection

Armand Vaillancourt, La force, 1964
Photographe: Marc-André Gagné
© Armand Vaillancourt / SODRAC (2008)

 

 

Pierre Szekely, L'ange de pierre, 1964
Photographer: Marc-André Gagné
© Les amis de la montagne Collection

 

Yerassimos Sklavos, Les soeurs cardinales, 1964
Photographer: Marc-André Gagné

 

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“Nineteen sixty four, the first international sculpture symposium in North America”

It’s the summer nineteen sixty four in Mount Royal Park. The Smith House, then an art centre, welcomes eleven sculptors from nine different countries.

Today, facing the house, stand eleven sculptures, both monumental and unobtrusive, forming an impressive collection of public works of art.

At the beginning of the nineteen sixties, all over the world, sculpture was undergoing a major change. Artists explored new formats, tested new materials, and sculpted outside of their workshops.

Quebec sculptor Robert Roussil was invited to Yugoslavia in nineteen sixty one to participate in one of the first international outdoor symposia. Upon his return, and impressed with the event, he said, "By letting us work under the open sky, on the very site where the works will remain, the symposium invites sculptors to communicate with nature, to create works on a human scale.”

He also participated in the first sculpture symposium in North America, which took place right here, in Mount Royal Park, over the summer of nineteen sixty four.

For two months, the sculptors worked on-site on the creations that still stand here, before your eyes.

While it is clear that some of them were designed to harmonise with their surroundings, to blend in, others seem to boast proudly on their monumental pedestals, like works in a museum, although they often serve as climbing walls for children.

Over forty years after the event, what do we think of these works today and this heritage of public art? The sculptures are sometimes invisible to visitors, even to the regulars. Others wonder how they got here and who made them. Whatever the case, these works are undeniably part of the park and the wealth of Mount Royal.

Now it’s your turn to go and discover these works of art.

Enjoy your visit!


Sculptors and their works

It’s the summer of nineteen sixty four in Mount Royal Park, following the first International Sculpture Symposium in North America. Here are the artists and their sculptures:

Eloul Kosso, Israel
Optimax

Pierre Szekely, Hungary
L'Ange de pierre

Krishna Reddy India
Untitled

Shirley Witebsky, United States
Untitled

Irving Burman, Canada
Untitled

Armand Vaillancourt, Canada
La Force

Augustin Cardenas, Cuba
Untitled

Geracimo Sklavos, Greece
Les Sœurs cardinales

Joseph Pillhofer, Austria
Untitled

Robert Roussil, Canada
Untitled
Work destroyed

Sergio Signori, Italy
Untitled

Louis Chavignier, France
Le Carrousel sauvage