Granby (Québec), Canada, 1920 - Kirkland (Québec), Canada, 2001
Working in the classic tradition of Modernism’s greatest movements, the sculptor Charles Daudelin was one of the most recognized artists of his generation. While the influence of Surrealism is most apparent in his pictorial and drawing-based production of the 1940s, the whimsicality, interpretational freedom, and organic quality of his small ceramic works from 1946-1949, and the craftsmanship of his first bronzes from 1950 presage the treatment and themes of his later works. Daudelin was a versatile and pragmatic artist who, from 1949 to 1957, produced a puppet theatre, worked on experimental television programs, illustrated books of poetry, and collaborated with architects to integrate art in the design and construction of buildings. From his textured, telluric, and monolithic bronzes of the 1960, to his multiple cubic, polished, and split sculptures of the 1970s, and finally, his minimal, kinetic equivalents that featured sound, water and wind at the end of the 1970s and early 1980s, his sculptures’ various forms impart the feeling of monumentality regardless of their scale (small format, maquette, large areas). Whether it be the design of a religious space, the fabrication of liturgical objects, the creation of large-scale public art, or more specifically, more intimate, small-scale works, many constants prevail: the assertiveness of his materials, the richness of the medium, and the establishment of complex relationships between positive and negative space, real and virtual space, and the stability and instability of balance.