Charles Gagnon


Charles Gagnon

Charles Gagnon (1934-2003) was one of the generation of Montreal artists born during the 1930s that included Claude Tousignant, Guido Molinari and Yves Gaucher.

At a time when other Montreal artists were looking to Paris, Gagnon was heavily influenced by his time spent in New York from 1955-1960. Exposed to the Abstract Expressionists, jazz and experimental film in New York, Gagnon stood out from the other Montreal abstract painters, and explored various media such as film, photography, collage, box constructions and painting.

Throughout his career, Gagnon explored concepts of time, space and contrasting surfaces, which was heavily influenced by his interest in photography.   His paintings are constructed formally, similar to composing a photograph, with bands of colour, borders or frames within frames. The gestural abstractions have a strong physicality to them, and are beautifully nuanced in their subtleties.

Working in series, Gagnon’s work fell into the following periods: the “white paintings” (1967-1969), “Markers / Marqueurs” (1973-1974), the “Splitscreenspace” series (1975), “Cassations” & “Inquisitions” (1976-1983) and the “word paintings” (1986-1990).

During his lifetime, two major touring retrospectives of his work were organized: “Charles Gagnon / Works 1956-1978” by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 1978 and “Charles Gagnon: A Retrospective” by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in 2001.

His works are represented in several public collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Vancouver Art Gallery and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington.

Charles Gagnon received the Chevalier, Ordre du Quebec in 1991 and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2002. Charles Gagnon passed away in 2003.

(Photo: Charles Gagnon)

Seeking Artworks by Charles Gagnon

MGG specializes in the acquisition and sale of artwork by Charles Gagnon.  If you own a Charles Gagnon and would like assistance in determining its value, please contact Michael directly HERE or call 519.439.0451.


Art Toronto

October 25 - October 28 - 2019

Art Toronto 2019

From October 25-27, 2019 Michael Gibson Gallery exhibited at Art Toronto. Part of our 20th Anniversary booth was figurative in nature, while the other focused on strong abstract paintings.

Greg Curnoe

June 3 - June 29 - 2016

Roy Heenan “The Life of a Bike”

For the month of June 2016 we are pleased to exhibit rarely seen works by Greg Curnoe and also feature three paintings by Charles Gagnon, both from the collection of Mr. Roy L. Heenan.



Geoffrey James on Charles Gagnon

Canadian photographer Geoffrey James gives a presentation on eminent Canadian artist Charles Gagnon, focusing on his photographic work and reflecting on Gagnon’s particular influence and manner of working. Beginning with a reflection on his lifelong friendship with Gagnon, James’ is joined by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art for a discussion about the work and its importance in the Vancouver Art Gallery collection. This talk was produced on the occasion of the Capture Photography Festival 2013, Vancouver Art Gallery.