Biography

Biography

Robert Duchesnay is a multimedia artist educated in Montreal and London, England. He is mostly known for his documentary artwork concentrating on Buckminster Fuller’s architectural legacy and was instrumental in saving two outstanding Fuller structures: the Montreal Expo 67 geodesic dome and the Dymaxion Dwelling Machine (circa 1946) in Wichita, Kansas.

Duchesnay is also known for his unique and compelling photo documentation, done in 1984, of the Joseph Beuys classroom/studio at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

In addition to these documentary art works he also produced and exhibited a series of photographs in the 1990s titled “Rituals of the Antisocial” referencing a theatre of the absurd, a humorous and often cynical look at society and its failed attempts at meaningful communication.

In 2013, the artist exhibits a photo series titled “The Vienna Cult 48.” Two years in the making, this series of images is closely based on the film noir classic The Third Man, and is nothing less than the re-imagination and re-enactment of this legendary film noir, photographed in situ in Vienna and at selected locations in Montreal that emulated as closely as possible the scenes of war time devastation.

Currently Duchesnay is working on a documentary project dedicated to the rediscovery in 1990–92 of Fuller’s first landmark building prototype: the Dymaxion Dwelling Machine.

Robert Duchesnay is the recipient of project and travel grants from the Canada Council for the Arts. His artwork has been exhibited in the United States, Canada and Europe, and his photographs can be found both in private and public (museum) collections in North America and Europe. His photographs have also been published in a variety of cultural and academic essays.

 

Education

1979–82 Studies with Bill Brandt and at the Robert Horner Studios, London (England)
1976–79 History of art, history and philosophy, Concordia University, Montreal

 

Exhibitions

2021 Mataré+Beuys+Immendorf, Die Neue Sammlung Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf
2020 Curiosidad Radical. En la Orbita de Buckminster Fuller (Radical Curiosity. In Buckminster Fuller’s Orbit), Espacio Fundacion Telefonica, Madrid
2017 Montréal et le rêve géodésique / Montreal’s Geodesic Dreams, École de design de l’Université du Québec à Montréal
2013 Le Culte de Vienne 48, Le Nouveau Cinéma du Parc, Montreal
2012 Beuys-Fuller-1984, Galerie Plein Sud, Longueuil (Québec)
2005 Rituals of the Antisocial, Gallery 44, Toronto
Rituals of the Antisocial, Gallery AXENEO 7, Gatineau (Québec)
2004 Rituals of the Antisocial, Maison de la culture Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Montreal
2003 Rituals of the Antisocial, Galerie VU, Québec (Québec)
1998 Buckminster Fuller: The Architecture and the Legacy, State University of New York, Department of Technology,
Oswego, NY
1997 Architectura, Ursus, Vehiculum, Galerie Vox, Montreal
1995–96 Photographs with Architectural Elements, Biosphere, B. Fuller dome, Montreal
1992 Buckminster Fuller’s “Dymaxion Dwelling Machine” (multimedia installation), Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas
1989 On Site Occupation with Large Biographical Paintings, Biosphere, B. Fuller dome, Montreal
1988 La série des pistolets, Galerie Don Stewart, Montreal
1987 Large Scale Synergetic Rubbings from the 1967 Fuller Dome, Concordia University Art Gallery, Montreal
1986 The Dome Project, Galerie P.R.I.M., Montreal
1984 Galerie Don Stewart, Montreal

Publications

The artist has published photographs in the following publications:

2021 MEISTER, Holga. “Looking for the Free Academy of the Future. Congratulating Joseph Beuys on His 100th Year Anniversary,” Kunstforum International, no. 274, May 2021.
SONDERMANN, Vanessa. Mataré+Beuys+Immendorf, Kunstakademie Düsseldorf, 210 pp.
2017 LEE, Mark, Sharon Johnston, Sarah Hearne, and Letizia Garzoli, ed. Make New History: 2017 Chicago Architecture
Biennial,
Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers, 343 pp.
McATEE, Cammie, ed. Montréal et le rêve géodésique / Montreal’s Geodesic Dreams, Halifax: Dalhousie Architectural Press, 120 pp.
Ciel Variable, nos. 105, 106, 107.
2013 JANSER, Daniela, Thomas Seelig, and Urs Stahel, ed. Concrete: Photography and Architecture, Zurich: Fotomuseum
Winterthur/Scheidegger & Spiess, 440 pp.
2012 MAYRAND, Céline. Le studio et l’anti-studio de Joseph Beuys et Buckminster Fuller: Un essai photographique de Robert Duchesnay, Longueuil (Québec): Galerie Plein Sud, 16 pp.
McLAUGHLIN, Bryne. “Joseph Beuys and Buckminster Fuller Meet in Plein Sud’s Latest Show,” Canadian Art, October 24.
2011 LAMMERT, Angela and Hubertus von Amelunxen. Kontrolle und Zufall: Iannis Xenakis, Berlin: Akademie der Künste,
76 pp.
2007 EASTHAM, Scott. American Dreamer: Bucky Fuller and the Sacred Geometry of Nature, Cambridge: The Lutterworth Press, 206 pp.
2005 CARSON, Andrea. Episode, Rituals of The Anti-social, Toronto: Gallery 44, 8 pp.
2004 GILBERT, André, ed. Autoportraits dans la photographie canadienne contemporaine, Québec: Éditions J’ai VU,
“L’opposite,” 112 pp.
Society of Architectural Historians Newsletter, vol. XLVIII, no. 4, August.
2003 MAYRAND, Céline. Robert Duchesnay: Rituels de l’antisocial, Québec: VU Centre de diffusion et de production de la photographie, 8 pp.
2000 “Histoires sans paroles,” Ciel Variable, nos. 50, 51, 52 et 53.
1992 EASTHAM, Scott. Robert Duchesnay: The Dymaxion Dwelling Machine, Wichita (Kansas): Wichita Art Museum, 14 pp.
1989 “Saving the Montreal Expo Dome,” World’s Fair Magazine (Corte Madera, Calif.), December.

Collections

Air Canada • Canada Council Art Bank • Art Gallery of Ontario • The Biosphere • Canadian Centre for Architecture • Ford Museum • Frank Lloyd Wright Allen-Lambe House Museum • Kunstakademie Düsseldorf • Wichita Art Museum