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José Luis Torres closes the year 2017 on a high note

December 2017

With D’entrée de jeu, an unprecedented exhibition at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, and his participation in the public art event Urban Green: artscarp in Hamilton, Ontario, artist José Luis Torres closes a prolific diversified year on a high note.

Torres was first invited by the curator of the pan-Canadian exhibition Urban Green Artscarp, Sally Frater, to present Securitas II as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations at Sam Lawrence Park, in Hamilton, Ontario, from September 30 to December 2, 2017.

Renewing the notion of site-specific work in consonance with the spirit of place, this project puts forward the idea of an “installative” artwork radically confronting the landscape. Securitas II, a Latin word with multiple meanings, refers to protection, prevention, and to a sense of safety from any danger or risk. The work confronts us with our obsession for safety. It evokes a fully protected place that guarantees our safety, yet it can also be interpreted as an apparatus that restricts our access to its content.

Back in Québec, in November, the artist created D’entrée de jeu, an artistic project designed especially for the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ).

This project offers a progressive immersion in a captivating visual and tactile experience that stimulates the interest of the younger ones for art. It is a playful, interactive space in which children, with their families, sharpen their visual perception of creation through fun and exploration. 

Colors, textures and touch play an essential role in this stimulating project. The whole sculptural elements allow children to discover Torres’ universe and share his creative process and practice. The colorful exhibition invites visitors to observe, create, and take center stage. Its walls covered in optical illusions and three-dimensional effects offer families a unique environment designed to stimulate exploration and foster the reinvention of new play rules. 

All the while, in an iconoclastic use of recycled materials, the exhibition catches the children’s attention and shows them how to become more responsible towards our planet. Chairs, kayaks, wheelbarrows, lifesavers, plastic bins, watering cans, traffic cones and doors, among other objects, are a source of discoveries and wonders, but also offer a second-degree reading, questioning our relationship to objects, our consumer habits. 

With D’entrée de jeu, the MNBAQ’s central pavilion comes to life in a vibrant four-act experience: 


Between the walls of the Riopelle Passage, strange, soft, yet troubling shapes have appeared. Playfully, with a touch of irony, tubular shapes covered in fake green, orange, blue, and pink fur face passersby with notions of diversity. Offering a visual, tactile stimulation as well as a moment of questioning, the whole experience becomes an exchange between a poetic abstraction and the reflections of an ever changing society. 


Designed as a giant puzzle with infinite possibilities, modules on wheels are at the participants’ disposal. Painted in orange, all components of these modules form an archipelago of shapes, or an inspiring creation work site. Manipulation and creation are the key words in this section of the Family Gallery.


Torres’ works in the public space are truly distinctive, surprising sculptures created from multi-shaped, multicolored objects. D’entrée de jeu features a splendid jumble, La fugue (The Escape), a cascade of objects in balance, overflowing from the Family Gallery. It impresses visitors, makes them smile, carries them away… and sparks reflection.


Spaces devoted to silent contemplation are as important as those for active play. In another area of the exhibition, several gateways lead children to a dream cabin with soft pillows and captivating books. There, they can rest, observe, discover multiple perspectives and spatial interpretations, invent treasure hunts or secret places.

 The exhibition D’entrée de jeu is open until October, 2018.

For more information: https://www.mnbaq.org/en/exhibition/d-entree-de-jeu-1254