Lot # 037
Post-War & Contemporary Art Live auction

Charles Gagnon
ARCA 1934 - 2003 Canadian

Quelles sont les…(#4)
acrylic on board
on verso signed twice, titled, dated 1981 and inscribed "Montreal" and "Acrylique"
10 3/8 x 13 1/8 in  26.4 x 33.3cm

Provenance:
Galerie Yajima, Montreal
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, Montreal, 1982

Literature:
Gilles Godmer, Olivier Asselin and Louis Goyette, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Charles Gagnon, 2001, reproduced page 104 (please note: the painting is misidentified on this page) and listed page 219
Roald Nasgaard, Abstract Painting in Canada, Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, 2007, page 204

Exhibited:
Galerie Yajima, Montreal, Recent Paintings by Charles Gagnon, May 13 - June 12, 1982
Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Charles Gagnon, February 8 - April 29, 2001, catalogue #105

Both highly evocative and visually striking, Quelles sont les…(#4) well exemplifies the strength and enduring significance of Charles Gagnon’s oeuvre. This rare piece belongs to a series of about 10 works included in a 1982 exhibition held at Galerie Yajima, in Montreal. Gagnon produced few works in each decade, resulting in an extremely coherent and powerful oeuvre. Here, overlapping billows of ecru, periwinkle, mint green, turquoise and blush cover the board’s surface and, quite exceptionally, also its frame. The artist displays a remarkable range and quality of brush-strokes, contrasted by the hard edges of a second rectangle sitting within the composition. An even greater contrast with the expressive and unrestrained brushwork is the presence of a ruler, a measuring tool synonymous with order, affixed to the bottom of the frame. This conceptual addition foreshadows Gagnon’s future interventions, such as words and photographs that would appear in the late 1980s, which challenged strict notions of abstraction. In the words of Roald Nasgaard: “Gagnon’s work is a confirmation that painting can at once be abstract, representational, figurative and conceptual.”

Estimate: $14,000 ~ $18,000 CAD  
Sold for: $17,500 CAD (including Buyer's Premium)

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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