host picture

Visual Art: September 2012 Archives

The controversial history of La Petite Danseuse

la petite danseuse 004.jpgThe Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has brought a famous sculpture by Degas, La petite danseuse, to Montreal as a prelude to a major exhibition on the Impressionists to begin in October.

The iconic sculpture is was originally made of wax with real hair and real cloth for the tutu and ballet slippers.

The Impressionists exhibition is on a world tour, but the Degas statue is coming to Montreal exclusively. 

Today, we see La petite danseuse as an object of beauty.

But it hasn't always been that way, explains Nathalie Bondil, director of the MMFA.  

Listen to Nathalie Bondil explain why the sculpture was once seen as "shocking" and "ugly":

Download Flash Player to view this content.

(Photo credit: Jeanette Kelly)

Remembering Melvin Charney

Artist, architect and teacher Melvin Charney passed away this week at the age of 77.
Even if you feel like you don't know much about architecture or urban design, if you have spent much time in Montreal you have almost certainly come into contact with the work of Melvin Charney.
He designed the sculpture in Place Emilie-Gamelin, outside the Berri-UQAM metro. (pictured)

Charney also designed the sculpture garden at the Canadian Centre for Architecture and the Canadian Tribute to Human Rights in Ottawa.
phyllis_5.jpgPhyllis Lambert (pictured, left, photo by Carrie Haber) was a friend and colleague of Charney's.
She is the designer of the Segal Centre and  founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
In fact, it was Phyllis Lambert who commissioned Charney to design the sculpture garden at the CAA.
Cinq à Six host Jeanette Kelly spoke with Phyllis Lambert about Melvin Charney's enduring influence on the urban design of the city. Listen to the interview:
Download Flash Player to view this content.