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.
Mastodo is a fountain-sculpture composed of a large bronze basin that tips when it is full of water. The water then flows in cascades into a concrete pool. The work is integrated as a central component of Agora, the environment designed by Daudelin as space of encounter and outdoor presentation site.
Mastodo is evidence of the artist’s constant interest in simple materials and volumes, as well as an aesthetic bordering on design. The contrast between the stability of the base, which seems immutable, and the tumultuous pouring of water explores the idea of harmony among nature, landscape, and urban constraints. A construction flaw makes the operation of the fountain unsafe for the public.