Public Artwork

Four Horsemen

François Houde, Four Horsemen, 1989
François Houde, Four Horsemen, 1989
Concordia University, Loyola Campus, Vanier Library, 7141 Sherbrooke Street West, Montréal, QC, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Houdé, François
Text author(s): 
MacEwen, Gwendolyn
Louise (his sister); Plante, Louis Pierre; Taillon, Luc; Marcoux, Gilles; Magne, Robert (support for the architect)
Installation year: 
Remarks on location: 

The arwork is located at the Vanier Library, in the stairwell. The work is visible from the 1st to the 3rd floor. A skylight provides natural light.


Composed of about 300 industrial glass blocks, this work is the last of the artist's works known as the Ming Series. Using horses as a pretext to create a metaphor of building civilizations, Houde creates a dialogue between ideas borrowed from the history of literature, art and science: sandcasted glass depicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse by Albrecht Durer; a metal arch representing a Medieval church portal; sandblasted glass simulating a fragment of the Partehnon frieze; and a movement study by Eadweard Muybridge.

Text of the artwork: 
Go and tell: It is morning,
And this horse with a mane the colour of sea foam
Is the first horse that the world has ever seen.
The white horse which stands now watching you
Across this field of endless sunlight

                          -Gwendolyn MacEwen

Artwork theme: 
Medieval Chinese funerary art that worships horses.
Part of the Ming series
Concordia University