Thursday Salute to Originals: The Dunes of Montreal

A public art installation fills Avenue de Musée with golden dunes of sand.

Just outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the road is “covered” by flattened waves of sand. Neutral-tone lines roll across the straight walkway, mimicking the curves of desert dunes or sandy beaches.

The formless shapes of this public art installation comprise a massive mural that stretches the length of Avenue de Musée — the road running adjacent to the Museum. Commissioned as part of a 2018 exhibit called From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-face Picasso, Past and Present, it has become a lasting feature of the institution’s public face.

The Moving Dunes commission was designed and executed by a Canadian architecture firm called NÓS — a “collective” known for combining the skills of artists and architects to create elaborate design features. Reflective chrome spheres are placed sporadically within the dark troughs of painted sand waves, adding depth to the three-dimensional illusion.

This Thursday, we’re saluting the Moving Dunes art installation and the transformative work of NÓS. You can discover more of the firm’s public work and “illusion projects” on their Instagram.

Sources: Moving Dunes, This is Colossal