Charles DAUDELIN R.C.A. (1920-2001)

An inquisitive mind and artist who approached each project as if it were a problem for him to solve, Charles Daudelin strived throughout his career to meet every challenge that came his way; fortunately for the art world, these same challenges fuelled his creative process. His research and numerous investigations led him to diversify his work, to explore different approaches, and to vary the materials he used.  His multi-faceted and unique career brought him to employ a wide-range of creative media in his art. For example, he is a skilled painter, drawer, sculptor, theatre set designer, book illustrator, and puppet maker.

Daudelin was drawn to sculpting out of a desire to make art that was accessible. The projects and spaces he created show a deep concern for public art and for the integration of art into the architecture of urban environments. Although his pieces differ in design and production, they often address similar themes. (For example, the “couple” is a reoccurring theme.) The notion of duality in his sculptures is seen as both contrasting and connecting desolation to abundance and clarity to the obscure.

From 1969 onward, Daudelin`s work spread to kinetic art, and as such, he incorporated various elements of kineticism into his creations; sometimes experimenting with motion mechanically, while other times using the natural forces of wind, water and light. Daudelin worked dynamically with landscapes, encouraging the harmonization of a number of elements such as light, nature, durable material, and time. He succeeded in both influencing the perception of viewers and redefining the concept of space and time. His deeply analytical and experimental mind allowed him to explore, from different angles, his own particular assessments and revisit the configurations of his pieces in hopes of exploiting them to their full potential.

Born in Granby on October 1st, 1920, Charles Daudelin moved to Montréal at the age of 19 to study at the École du Meuble with Paul-Émile Borduas. During his two years abroad in Paris, from 1946 to 1948, he visited the workshop of Fernand Léger, whom he had already met in New York, and that of sculptor Henri Laurens. Along with Louis Archambault, Daudelin is considered one of the forefathers of modern sculpture in Québec, praised for his innovative integration of art in both architectural and public spaces. His installations adorn many public spaces in cities such as Montréal, Québec, Ottawa, and Paris. Among his most famous works are Poulia, a sculpture/fountain erected in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island (1966), the imposing bronze sculpture at the National Arts Centre, in Ottawa (1969), Allegrocube on the grounds of the Montréal Palais de Justice (1973), the altarpiece in the Sacred Heart Chapel of Montréal’s Basilique Notre-Dame (1980-1982), Embâcle at the Place du Québec, in Paris (1984), and Éclatement II at the Place de la Gare, in Québec City (1998). His paintings, drawings, sculptures, and small-scale models can be found not only in every museum across Québec, but also in museums across Canada. His work is held in a number of public and private collections. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts since 1972, he was awarded the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas in 1985.

CLIQUEZ ICI / CLICK HERE (57 downloads) to download the visual pamphlet of the exhibition “D’UN GESTE À L’AUTRE”
CLICK HERE to watch our visual tour of the exhibition “D’UN GESTE À L’AUTRE” on Youtube.

Learn more about the artist:
The journalist Paul-Émile Tremblay interviews Charles Daudelin at work in his studio.
La fabrique culturelle : « Une oeuvre expliquée – Charles Daudelin »