Unveiled in October 1962, the mural would illuminate the lobby of Hydro-Québec's head office for close to 20 years before its lighting system failed.
After evaluating the restauration costs, Hydro-Québec decided in spring 2001 to proceed with re-lighting the mural. It opted for a system of neon and argon tubes which incorporates the capability of new technologies while also coming closest to the original lighting concept.
This solution ensures the integrity of a work that Jean-Paul Mousseau described as his "first significant project" and that would inform his creative endeavors throughout the 1960s. Most importantly, the masterpiece is once again available for the Québec public to enjoy.
See the press release issued at the inauguration of the restored mural on December 16, 2002
Hydro-Québec is pleased to celebrate the re-lighting of a mural designed four decades ago by Jean-Paul Mousseau for the lobby of the head office building. The mural-one of the gems of Québec's cultural heritage-will thus be restored to its splendor and artistic value.
Mousseau's mural is considered one of the boldest and most compelling works to have emerged from the artistic movement known as the Montréal School. "We are very proud to participate in the rebirth of this great work, which was a key element in the emergence of public art in Québec," said Jacques Laurent, Chairman of the Board of Hydro-Québec.
The lighting system, while incorporating recent technological developments, has been restored according to the artist's original concept. It is made up of 800 neons-more than one kilometre of tubes if placed end to end. A computer works its magic to produce and synchronize combinations of color, luminosity and movement, resulting in a virtually endless succession of new tableaux.
In 1961, the Québec Hydroelectric Commission requested proposals for a work of art to decorate the lobby. The jury awarded the contract to Mousseau, whose idea for a mural called Lumière et mouvement dans la couleur was chosen for its artistic qualities and ingenious use of electricity. The mural was unveiled on October 10, 1962.
Hydro-Québec invites Quebecers to come to rediscover this great work and visit his website.
The following slide show contains images from: The inauguration of the restored mural on December 16, 2002