The sculptures in the museum garden

Featuring both classical and abstract works, the garden bridges the gap between tradition and contemporary creations.

Each encounter with a work of art offers an opportunity to discover an artist’s life and creative process.

What a lot of the works exhibited around the museum have in common that they are composed of simple geometric shapes that are thought-provoking and encourage people to experience and be playful with art, and that reflect the richness and diversity of one of the main artistic trends of the 20th century, Abstract Art, and more specifically geometric abstraction.

Just like Pascal Levrague’s sculpture ‘si et seulement si’ (‘if and only if’)  , where light and geometry freely invent and reinvent themselves between two geometric monoliths, two monumental stones separated by a few centimetres, an interval - in short, uncertainty.

here the artist makes space a component of the work and plays with the contrast between lightness and density, between emptiness and matter.

the sculpture in weathering steel 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 is typical of the at once simple and very complex art of Norman Dilworth. The work is made from a unit put together with 2, 3, 4, 5 other units, all identical. It could grow in the 3 spatial dimensions, the way ice crystals do.

Play is an important part of the work. By organising and manipulating the elements I use, I think I discover possibilities that I hadn’t anticipated.

Norman Dilworth

The Pietà of René Leleu, a sculptor from Valenciennes (Prix de Rome winner)

It is located very near the Lycée Watteau, the very place that served as the seat of the German Kommandantur during the Second World War. The work is sacred to the memory of the victims of Nazism. All the victims: members of the resistance, prisoners in the Lycée Watteau who were shot, deportees, Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, all sacrificed in the fire that ravaged Europe. Civilian victims who did not have a specific memorial stone dedicated to them here. It is a woman. She holds a body that lies across her knees. She speaks of pain, of life destroyed; she also speaks of arbitrariness, of freedom tramped underfoot. No resignation; rather, a mute protest, a silent cry.

La colonne de la défense, by Gustave Crauck

Located on the Place Verte, on the Rue Viewarde. It was installed on the Place Verte on 25 May 1902, mounted on a column whose base includes three bas-reliefs in bronze. It was hidden in the home of René Delanne during the First World War, then reinaugurated, at the top of a pink granite column banded with bronze in 1932.