Founded by the Québec government in 1964, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal's mandate is to promote and conserve Québec contemporary art and to assure a place for international contemporary art through acquisitions, exhibitions and other activities.
The Musée opened in March 1965 in a temporary location in Place Ville-Marie with a world-class exhibition of work by French painter Georges Rouault. It then moved to Château Dufresne in east-end Montréal, opening in July 1965 with a major exhibit, Artistes de Montréal, while the gardens simultaneously presented an international sculpture symposium. After 1967, the government moved the musée to the Galérie internationale pavilion built for Expo 67, and in 1992, its new and permanent building on the site of PLACE DES ARTS was inaugurated by Liza Frulla, Minister of Culture.
The Musée's collection and the temporary exhibitions occupy 8 galleries totalling 2500 square metres. Another hall is specifically reserved for video. The collection consists of about 6000 works dating back to 1939 and reflecting major trends in contemporary art. Sixty percent of these works are by Québec artists. A highlight of the collection is a group of works by Paul-Émile BORDUAS, which were donated by the National Museums of Canada in 1973 and are currently installed in their own permanent hall.
Since its founding in 1964, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal has developed not only its collection and exhibitions but also the presentation of contemporary events that experiment with different artistic disciplines such as new dance, contemporary music, experimental theatre, performance, video and cinema. The Musée also boasts a media centre which is the largest and most important multimedia documentation centre of contemporary art in Canada.
Author MICHEL CHAMPAGNE