La pelle du printemps

Jean-Pierre Gauthier


A project co-presented by Avatar and Manif d’art as part of the Québec City Biennial

La pelle du printemps is an interactive sound sculpture with many ramifications. Looking like a tree of metal and plastic, it jumps out in the landscape. Snow shovels and their handles were taken apart and reassembled into this strange arborescence, which encourages the playful participation of passersby. When the shovel grips are rotated, they make chirping sounds, like decoys simulating birdsong to herald the arrival of spring. True to his art practice, Jean-Pierre Gauthier continues to blur the distinction between the fabricated and the natural.


Originally from Matane, Jean-Pierre Gauthier lives and works in Montréal. His work has been shown in Canada, Europe, and Asia. The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal presented a retrospective of his work in 2007. In 2004, he won the Sobey Art Award; the following year, the Canada Council for the Arts gave him the Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award. In 2012, the City of Montréal awarded him the Prix Louis-Comtois. Gauthier is represented by ELLEPHANT in Montréal and Toronto. His work is part of many public collections, including those of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

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