Charles Gagnon is a major figure in Canadian contemporary art and one of the few multidisciplinary artists of his generation. A common theme in his many artistic experiments, whether painting, photography, collage, film, sound, or sculpture, is the material results of his eclectic yet reflective take on existence. Gagnon’s limitless curiosity and deep interest in astronomy, history, mathematics, and philosophy have led him to create a fresh and eloquent body of work.
His fascination with photography is represented by a number of key moments. This exhibition features photographs from the artist’s estate, including Polaroid SX-70 original prints, and silver gelatin prints he made while using the Minox camera in the late 1970s. With the eye of a flâneur, Gagnon flirts with the exterior world, giving flowers, landscapes, deserts, and mysterious cloud formations a new aesthetic significance. His works from the 1990s entitled Tables de matière and Mythes display Gagnon’s fascinating use of the medium to explore issues that occupied the mind of a mature artist and closely relate to paintings he made at the same time.