Claude Vermette was born in Montréal in 1930 and studied art with Brother Jerome at Collège Notre-Dame. Then, Vermette joined the Automatists but did not sign their manifesto, Refus Global, because he was too young. During a trip to Europe, in 1952, he developed an interest in ceramics. This material was prominent in his body of work, alongside painting and printmaking. A pioneer of integration of art with architecture, his work is featured in a number of Métro stations in Montréal, including Place-des-Arts, Saint-Laurent, Jean-Talon, and McGill. He died in 2006.
The work includes five murals. Three are installed on the pavilion’s main façade, facing the lake, and two others are on the lateral façades (one per façade). Each mural is composed of 12 metallic bands 30 cm wide, installed side by side and inserted in a grey metallic frame. The murals are coloured red, orange, and yellow. They were produced in an industrial context, but the artist hand-retouched the painted surfaces, bringing great richness to these colour fields.
Whereas the 1958 murals had been made in ceramics, Vermette’s favourite medium at the time, the current murals are made of metal. This choice was due to the desire to use a material that would stand up better to prolonged outdoor display. The five murals at Beaver Lake Pavilion were the artist’s last creations before his death.