Claude Mongrain received his training at the École des beaux-arts de Montréal (1966-1969) and was a professor in the department of visual and media arts at the Université du Québec à Montréal from 1985 to 2003. His sculptures have been exhibited across Canada and have earned him an extensive bibliography. The objective of his assemblages is to be resolutely misleading in their presentation of forms and materials. Columns of aluminum and zinc, for example, turn out to be made of wood, while a plaster cast masquerades as an assemblage of folded fabric and polystyrene parodies marble. A critical and ironic perspective on the stability and precarious balance of the “monument” permeates Mongrain’s work.
(Source : Historical Dictionary of Quebec Sculpture in the 20th Century)
South of the Pavillon Guillaume-Couture, the sculptor’s installation steers us along a disconcerting path. Traces of familiar objects such as a television, workshop benches, and flowerpots can be seen among the three zinc-treated steel, marble, granite, cement and polished aluminum assemblages that make up the installation. All these objects are found in a context other than that in which we normally see them. The installation offers the spectator a variety of ways to question several aspects of our society. In addition to these images, the artist’s formal choices interpret concerns about current issues in the practice of sculpture. By referring, for example, to the monument as a genre or by using one of classical sculpture’s natural materials such as marble, which is no longer carved but is simply piled up, the artist raises new questions about the displacement of values underlying such acts.