The Quebec artist Michel Goulet was born in 1944 in Asbestos and studied at the Université de Sherbrooke and the Université du Québec à Montréal. He has pursued a dual career as an internationally renowned artist and an educator, teaching first at the University of Ottawa and later at the Université du Québec à Montréal. He is recognized on the international art scene for his sculptures and permanent public art works, but also for his set designs for theatre and opera.
He has shown his work in numerous solo and group exhibitions, and has represented Canada at the Venice Biennale (1988). The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal mounted a retrospective of his work in 2004.
Michel Goulet has received a number of honours, including the Prix Paul-Émile-Borduas, the highest distinction awarded to visual artists by the Quebec government (1990), and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2008). He was made an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec in 2018.
Cœur à tout is a wall relief mural with three distinct components that complement the geometric shape of the building and take their inspiration from its formal appearance and the activities which take place within. The centrepiece, an enormous heart, establishes the overall message. This singular icon is an unequivocal symbol of harmony, the seat of sensation and emotions, and the organ that beats with the rhythm of life and animates the body. The viewer is led by arrows through the elements on the side panels on a complex yet ordered path of iconic images. While each individual assumes one’s own symbolic universe, the jumbling of the images’ order and complementarities makes the artwork a game, a puzzle or perhaps a riddle. It promotes within passersby familiarities and comparisons, giving them immediate feelings of connectivity and sensory pleasure.