Le cercle de vie

Jean Brillant

A flagship artwork of downtown Saint-Lambert, Le cercle de vie was created in 1989 by the sculptor Jean Brillant. This magnificent sculpture is composed of a huge granite circle surrounded by a continuous steel band with a bronze patina. With its unpretentious geometry, it embodies a universal metaphor that could represent a city’s movement forward, its progress.

Each of the composite granite sections has a different colour and is carefully adapted to the circular motif. Each angle had to be measured and cut according to the method used in ancient Roman and Greek architecture to fit perfectly with all the others so as to form a whole. Similarly, the blocks, which are shaped like piano keys, are reminiscent of those adorning the top of entrances to buildings of classical construction. Standing proudly in the middle of the Parc de la Gare, this impressive work follows Jean Brillant’s recent artistic activities, which include an in-depth exploration of the different types of stone found in Québec.

Read more

The artist

Canadian sculptor Jean Brillant was born in Rimouski in 1959. At the age of 9, his family moved to southern France, where he marvelled at his discovery of stone-cutting in Vaucluse. It was his discovery of this material that later led him to the École d’Aix-en-Provence, and then to Dijon’s École nationale supérieure d’art before returning to Canada, where he attended the Université du Québec à Montréal.

From 1988 on, Mr. Brillant presented his first works in a Montreal art gallery, Galerie Daniel. Enriched by his Canadian roots and his discovery of the art world through North American and European galleries, he gave free rein to his imagination, freely assembling and contrasting natural elements and industrial remnants. He has had a number of solo exhibitions in Canada and France.

Since 1994, Mr. Brillant has been creating outdoor sculptures, leading him to gradually break away from the traditional market offered by art galleries. Several of his works appear in both public collections (MNBAQ, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Musée régional de Rimouski) and private collections (Fondation Bombardier, Lavallin, Steelcase). Jean Brillant currently lives in ithe heart of Montreal, Canada, in a former industrial factory that has been transformed into an artist’s studio.