Michel de Broin

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Michel de Broin (born 1970 in Montreal, Quebec) is a Canadian sculptor. His work is mainly sculptural, but he also uses video, performance, drawing, photography and found objects. He created several public artwork in Canada and Europe, such as the Salvador Allende monument in Montreal. He was awarded the Sobey Art Award in 2007.


He studied studio arts at Concordia University and at UQÀM.

His first major show was presented at Villa Merkel in Germany (2002).

After starting his career in Montreal, he moved to Paris and Berlin in 2005.

In 2006, he received the Prix Reconnaissance UQAM[1]

In 2007, he received the Sobey Art Award.[2]

In 2011, he came back to Montreal.

In 2012, the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa) acquired his large scale sculpture Majestic, which was permanently installed outdoors in the sculpture garden.

His work is featured in various museum collections, such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, le Musée d'art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, the FRAC Poitou Charentes and the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein.

Art Practice[edit]

Révolutions, Montréal

Since the 1990s, Michel de broin has developed an interdisciplinary practice that questions the limits of social and technical systems. He often incorporates humour and playfulness in his work, but also critique. Energy and resistance are recurrent themes in his practice. Many objects he created consist in a "détournement" of familiar objects and forms that turn back against themselves to show their internal paradoxes. Conceptual art is a source of inspiration for his practice. For example, in his show "Dangerous Substance" (Matière dangereuse, 1999), he reinterpreted Kasimir Malevitch's famous "black square on white ground".

Main Works[edit]

Shared Propulsion Car consists in a wreck Buick 1986 car whose engine was replaced by a pedals. It was presented in New York at Exit Art and Toronto at Mercer Union. A video by the artist shows a policemen issuing a ticket for "Operating an Unsafe Vehicle" to Dean Baldwin, the driver of the pedal car in Toronto.

Black Whole Conference consists of a group of chairs attached to each other at the legs to create a sphere. It is part of the collection of the Musée d'art contemporain du Val-de-Marne.

Overflow in the ruined remains of the old Toronto prison a waterfall bursting out of a window.

La maîtresse de la Tour Eiffel was created for the Nuit Blanche in Paris (2009). It consists of a 26 feet mirror ball made of 1000 mirrors and suspended from a crane 150 feet above the Luxembourg Garden. The mirror ball broke a Guinness World Record.[3]

Majestic was presented as a satellite project of New Orleans Bienal in 2011. Lamposts tore down by hurricane Katrina were assembled in the shape of a star. The sculpture was acquired by the National Gallery of Canada thanks to a donation by philanthropists Donald and Beth Sobey.[4]

Public Art[edit]

L'Arc, monument to Salvador Allende

Révolutions is a sculpture representing a staircase twisted into a knot. It was installed in 2003 during the renovation of Papineau metro station in Montreal.

Monument is a sculpture installed in a parc of Winnipeg in 2009. It reinterprets the classical theme of drapery by presenting two ghostly characters standing under a sheet.

L'Arc (2009) in a monument commemorating Salvador Allende. It is situated on the île Notre-Dame in Montreal.[5]

Mehr Licht is a sculpture project to be installed in the Bundestag (Germany) in 2014.


A non exhaustive list:

  • 2013 :
    • Solo show at Museum of Contemporary Art of Montreal
  • 2003 :


  1. ^ "Prix Reconnaissance UQAM 2006. Le talent de faire parler les objets", UQÀM, May 11, 2006. [1]. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  2. ^ "Discover must-know artists from across Canada, Michel de broin", Canadian Art. [2]. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  3. ^ "Michel de Broin: Cities of Light", Canadian Art. [3]. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  4. ^ "Philanthropists Donald and Beth Sobey donate Michel de Broin sculpture Majestic to National Gallery of Canada ", National Gallery of Canada. [4]. Retrieved May 24, 2013.
  5. ^ "Montréal et la communauté chilienne rendent hommage à Salvador Allende par l’inauguration de l’œuvre d’art public L’Arc de Michel de Broin", City of Montreal. [5]. Retrieved May 24, 2013.

External links[edit]