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.
|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|
|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,
|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|
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,
|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.|
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