He studied architecture at McGill University and Yale University, and worked in Paris and New York before returning to Montreal in 1964, where he opened his architecture practice and began teaching at the Université de Montréal.
Registered architect, Quebec Principal Melvin Charney, Architect, Montreal, since 1964. Professor of University Montreal, since 1964. Member architects committee American Academy Arts and Sciences, Boston, 1968-1969.
Co-director task force on housing Government of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, 1970-1971. Member of advisory committee Canada Centre for Architecture, Montreal, 1983-1989. Board directors Conseil des Arts et des Lettres, Quebec, 1994.
Invited professor to numerous universities One-man shows include Harvard University, 1977, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, 1978, Museed'Art Contemporain, Montreal, 1979, Institute for Art and Urban Resources, New York City, 1979, Canada Cultural Centers, Paris and Brussels, 1980, Museum Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1982, Richard Gray Gallery, Chicago, 1982, 49th Parallel, Centre for Canada Contemporary Art, New York City, 1982, 87, AgnesEtherington Art Centre, Kingston, Ontario, 1983, represented Canada at the 42nd Venice Biennale, 1986, René Blouin Gallery, Montreal, 1987,88, Center for Canadian Art, New York, 1987, Sable-Castelli Gallery, Toronto, 1988, 91, 92, 93, major retrospective, Canada Centre for Architecture, Montreal, 1991-1992, de Beyrie Gallery, Paris, 1994, Israel Museum, Jerusalem, 1995, Power Plant Gallery Contemporary Art, Toronto, 1995. Exhibited in group shows at Montreal Museum Fine Arts, 1972, 83, Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, 1973, Institut d'Art Contemporain, Montreal, 1975, 76, XXI Olympic Games, Montreal, 1976, John Weber Gallery, New York, 1979, Max Protetch Gallery, New York City, 1979, Los Angeles Institute Contemporary Art, 1980, Vancouver Art Gallery, 1980, Centre George Pompidou, 1980, Musee du Quebec, 1981, 83, 85, Akademie der Kunst, Berlin, 1983, Kunstverein, Stuttgart, 1983, Museum Contemporary Art, Chicago, 1984, Internationalen Bauasstellung, Berlin, 1984, 17th Trianale di Milano, 1985, Le Musee du Quebec, 1985, Centre international d'art contemporain, Montreal, 1985, Musee d'art Comtemporaine du Montreal, 1987, 91, Power Plant, Contemporary Art at Harbourfront, Toronto, 1988, TheCanadian Center for Architecture, Montreal, 1989, Musee du Quebec, 1989, 91, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul, S. Korea, 1990, Museum desJacobins, Morlaix, France, 1991, Canadian Pavilion, V Biennale di Architettura, Venice, 1991, Passages, Centre d'art contemporain, Troyes, France, 1992, Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, 1994, Centre Cultura Contemporania, Barcelona, 1994, Royal Festival Hall Galleries, London, 1995, Manchester City Art Gallery, 1995, others. Sculpture communications The Canada Tribute to Human Rights, Ottawa, 1986, Urban Sculpture Garden for Canada Center for Architecture, montreal, 1987, Place Berri, Montreal, 1991.
Represented in permanent collections National Gallery Canada, Ottawa, Canada Council Art Bank. Ottawa, Art Gallery Ontario, Toronto, Musee d'art contemporain, Montreal, Canada Center for Architecture, Montreal, Museum Contemporary Art, Chicago, International Business Machines Corporation Collection, Chicago, Fonds National.d'Art Contemporain, Paris, Musee du Quebec, Montreal Museum Fine Arts, Frac Basse Normandie, France, Art Gallery Hamilton.
Member Royal Canada Academy, Canada ArtistsReps., Ordre des Architectes du Quebec.
Married Ann Korsower, May 29, 1960. 1 child, Dara Alexandra.