Jiri Georges Lauda was born in 1925 in Prague. He studies at the Prague Museum of Fine Arts. After a brief episode in Paris, he moved to Montreal in 1951 and studied to become a teacher. The practical and theoretical training he received in his native country gave Georges Lauda basic knowledge with which he could experiment and find his true path. This multidisciplinary artist also did engravings, sculptures, illustrations, murals, creative designs and worked with ceramics. He shared a studio with ceramist Paul Pannier.
In 1964 he was invited by the La Laurentienne insurance company in Quebec City to build an 11m long-bas-relief wall for the entry hall to the Grande-Allée building. That same year, his terracotta sculpture Le Phare earned him first place at the Concours artistique de Québec.
The artist also created a bronze plaque to commemorate the continuity between the first transport system in 1861 and the metro’s grand opening in 1966. This plaque now rests at the Berri-UQAM metro station. In 1968, Georges Lauda built a ceramic and forged iron mural, Le poète dans l’univers, for the Crémazie metro station. As was the case for the piece for the Université de Montréal, he worked in collaboration with ceramist Paul Panier. He also works as an illustrator and graphic designer in the field of education.
Paul Pannier was born on Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon in 1923 and died in Montréal in 1993. He was the founder of Pannier Céramiques ltée, where many of Jiri Georges Lauda’s table pieces were produced.
Born in Saint-Hyacinthe, artist-blacksmith Gérard Cordeau realized metal elements for certain artworks of Georges Lauda and Paul Pannier, from his workshop in Saint-Pie-de-Bagot.
This mural is an homage to Québec poets Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau, Émile Nelligan, and Octave Crémazie. The poets themselves are represented by cast-iron masks, mounted on a large ceramic relief featuring the symbols for the planets and the signs of the zodiac.