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Montreal's Plateau Has A Ginormous New Mural That Honours A Legendary Local Artist

It's visible all the way from the Mount Royal lookout.

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​A massive mural on the side of a building visible from the Mount Royal lookout.

A massive mural on the side of a building visible from the Mount Royal lookout.

Courtesy of CNW Group/MU

If you've walked near McGill University or hiked up Mount Royal lately, you've probably noticed the massive new mural taking shape on the side of a Plateau residential building. The 160-foot tribute to famed painter Jean-Paul Riopelle was unveiled this week, commemorating 100 years since the Quebec artist's birth in the neighbourhood.

The work, titled Magnetic Art, depicts a bird swooping over a colourful circle, reflecting Riopelle's love of nature. It was painted by contemporary artist Marc Séguin, who has studied Riopelle for over 30 years and claims the artist as one of his idols.

You can get a closer look at the mural on rue Milton, near the corner of Lorne. It's the 25th such hommage to a homegrown cultural icon, part of the Montreal Great Artists series by public art organization MU.

"We are thrilled to see Riopelle honoured alongside other great Montreal cultural icons such as Leonard Cohen, Alanis Obomsawin, Paul-Émile Borduas, Marcelle Ferron, Daisy Peterson-Sweeney, Phyllis Lambert and Oliver Jones," said Manon Gauthier, executive director of the Riopelle Foundation.

Riopelle is known for his bold contemporary style across paintings, engravings and sculptures. He was also a signee of the Refus Global, an anti-establishment and anti-religious manifesto published in 1948 by 16 prominent local artists. You may know his work from Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, a public square just outside the Palais des congrès. The courtyard features an eye-catching water fountain with abstract animal and human bronze figures illuminated by a ring of fire.

The foundation is planning a year-long program to celebrate the artist, spanning classical music, theatre and circus performances, among other events.

    Sofia Misenheimer
    MTL Blog, Associate Editor
    Sofia Misenheimer is an Associate Editor for MTL Blog focused on gas prices in Montreal and is based in Montreal, Quebec.
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