Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Someone had lied. Or hadn’t told the whole truth. In her dream, her only dream, played over and over since childhood, she had a solo show at the Musée d’art contemporain. She walked down this corridor. Composed and collected. Beautiful and slim. Witty and popular. Into the waiting arms of an adoring world. (A Trick of the Light, Chapter One, Paperback Edition)

Dedicated exclusively to contemporary art, the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MACM) is the perfect setting for a Chief Inspector Gamache novel. The MACM has been described by one visitor as “Inspiring, provocative, and rewarding.” Pretty much how we sum up every Louise Penny novel!

Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

Located on St. Catherine Street, Montreal’s main thoroughfare, the MACM was established in 1964 by a cooperative of both artists and collectors with the mission to “make known, promote and preserve contemporary Québec art and to ensure a place for international contemporary art through acquisitions, exhibitions and other cultural activities.”

Musée d’art contemporain de MontréalThe building itself, designed by the award-winning Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectural firm, is a site to behold. Decidedly postmodern, composed of multiple angles, and topped with a giant pair of red lips. That’s right. A giant pair of red lips. The work of the gifted artist Geneviève Cadieux, the lips are actually her mother’s and Cadieux says the piece represents the “the idea of the feminine voice” as she feels “it’s very important for women to have a voice and be seen.” It would seem Louise subscribes to that very same maxim, don’t you think?

Inside the seven-story structure you’ll find diverse exhibition spaces, a theater, a library, and a multimedia room which are all anchored by its spectacular rotunda that represents the “pursuit of Drapeau-era ideals: the creation of a central artistic hub.”

Karel FunkPast exhibitions have included an amazing Jean-Luc Godard retrospective on his personal thoughts and images from the history of cinema, Karel Funk’s hyperrealistic paintings (see image here), and Young and Giroux’s re-examination of mid-twentieth-century modernism and the representation of consumer products.

Upcoming exhibitions this year include the work of David Altmejd, who, in creating his one-of-a-kind masterpieces, works with Plexiglas, polyurethane foam, synthetic hair, latex paint, glass eyes, domestic goose feathers, coconuts, and coffee grounds!

For more information on the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal please visit

Who here has visited the MACM?

Discussion on “Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal

  1. Julie says:

    No wonder Clara nearly fainted when she arrived for her vernissage! This is an imposing structure, and I can imagine, the culmination of all of Clara’s wildest dreams!

  2. Mary Hill says:

    I loved “A Trick of Light” and have read it twice. Clara is one of my favorite character in Gamache’s life and I love Three Pines and life that goes on there. The trip to Montreat has many happy memories but I am sorry to say I have never visited the museum. That will be for a future visit. Thank you to Louise Penny for these wonderful novels as they open the door to a lovely world.

  3. While I’ve never traveled to Canada, I enjoy hearing from a friend’s experience after her annual visits (her husband being from Canada). I am going to share this with her. Rereading A Trick of The Light with these photos before me will reveal new insights! Thanks for posting!

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