Pierre Yves Angers was born in 1949 in Montréal. After studying art at the CÉGEP du Vieux Montréal, he had a number of exhibitions in Montréal and New York. He was also vice-president of the Conseil de la sculpture from 1988 to 1990.
Angers is interested in the morphology of the human body. Both of his works on display in public spaces in Montréal, Le malheureux magnifique and Les clochards célestes, highlight his aesthetic concerns.
Over time, Le malheureux magnifique has become an important visual reference point at the entrance to the Quartier latin. The imposing sculpture, composed of a steel structure covered with a layer of white cement, portrays a larger-than-life figure.
The simplified huddled figure has been interpreted in various ways over the years. The man, with his head resting on his knees and hands covering the nape of his neck, conveys the psychological state of a person who is the main character in a story to be told. The unity of the material, texture, and colour of the artwork serves to both challenge the viewer and highlight the emotional and evocative dimensions of the form. The viewer is free to imagine a victim of social seclusion, someone who is sad, or someone who is simply meditating.
The sentence chosen by the artist to accompany the sculpture tends to divert the attention away from the fictional character and toward the viewer and his or her own psychological condition: “À ceux qui regardent à l’intérieur d’eux-mêmes et franchissent ainsi les frontières du visible” (To those who look inside themselves and thus cross over the borders of the visible).
Inspired by The Thinker and other artworks by Rodin, this sculpture is, to date, one of the most striking pieces in Angers’s body of work.