Born in Granby, Charles Daudelin took Paul-Émile Borduas’s advice to move to Montréal, where he took courses at the École du meuble from 1939 to 1943. Elected a member of the Contemporary Arts Society in 1941, he lived in New York and then in Paris, where he attended Fernand Léger’s studio. Teaching at the École des beaux arts de Montréal, Daudelin created the “integrated art” section there in 1963. Among his most prestigious accomplishments in integration art are the altarpiece in the Sacred Heart chapel at the Notre-Dame basilica and the sculpture-fountain Embâcle at Place du Québec in Paris.
This kinetic sculpture, donated by Quebec sculptor Charles Daudelin, was conceived to capture the natural elements – sun, wind, water, snow. The artist was constantly aware of these elements and always worked alongside nature. The nine alternating blue and green columns soar skyward, capped with stainless steel disks polished to a mirror finish that sway in the wind and reflect images of life to us below, in winter and summer alike. At night, the work comes to life, bathing in the recessed lighting.
Daudelin’s works in urban settings are often associated with a building. This is a rare case where one of his sculptures is in a large park with mature trees near a lake. The Palais des congrès de Montréal is home to Éolienne V, a similar work in its geometry and guiding principle. In both works, the wind plays an active role.