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Puente de Luz/ Bridge of Light

Puente de Luz/ Bridge of Light

Francisco Gazitua
b.1944

Puente de Luz/ Bridge of Light
  • Steel
  • 2011
  • 100 m x 5 m x 5 m
  • Pedestrian bridge connecting Front Street West to Queens Wharf Road, Toronto

About the artwork

Located over the busiest railway corridor in Canada, the Puente de Luz is a sculptural pedestrian bridge and the largest public art installation in Canada. The name Puente de Luz, or “Bridge of Light”, was chosen to signify the link between North and South and the connection between the two countries that came together to build it – Canada and Chile. The bridge’s unique yellow color was chosen to stand out against the grey background of the surrounding area.

About the artist

Francisco Gazitúa was born in Santiago de Chile in 1944. He studied philosophy at the Catholic University of Chile and Sculpture at both the University of Chile, and St. Martin’s School of Arts in London. He completed his training in Chile, as a sculptor-assistant, with Lily Garafulic sculptors, Marta Colvin and Samuel Román. As well in England, with Tim Scott, Philip King and Anthony Caro. Later he was Professor of Sculpture, for six years at St Martins School of Arts London (1979 -1985), recognised as one of the founders of three schools of sculpture: Kornaria, Istria in Croatia, the department Sculpture at the Universidad Finis earthy in Santiago, Chile and the Workshop School in Santiago, Chile. In Chile, he organised around fifteen international sculpture symposiums to engage with the public at large.

He wrote numerous publications about the history and theory of sculpture. His theoretical and practical discussions focus on the role of materiality in the sculptural language.

The main objective of his sculptural practice is the production of large-scale works for public spaces. Working with materials such as steel, wood and stone, he has built a large workshop located at the foot of the Andes in central Chile where, along with his assistants, he builds and assembles the work. 

His work was exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in major galleries and museums in Chile, Canada, England, Germany, USA, Mexico, and many other countries.

Fun facts

  • One of the more impressive public artworks in Canada, it might not be the heaviest. Still, Puente de Luz weighs approximately 600,000 lbs.

Engagement questions

  • Do you think public art has to be functional?
  • Is aesthetic playing an important role in this installation?