René Gagnon

In Harmony with Nature

Painting a Country

“I do not know whether my paintings are Surrealist or not, but I do know that they are the most honest expression of myself.” Frida Kahlo

Facing me, the man stands straight as an oak tree. His hands are huge. His hair is shaggy, much as Albert Einstein’s. His deep intense eyes reflect the greatest joys as well as the torments of human experience. René Gagnon has been dealing with the hazards of life for all of his 86 years, including 67 years with the demons of creation.

Over the restaurant table, he is showing me the pictures that are included in his book. Here, on a fishing trip with Riopelle, Paul Rebeyrolle and Stanley Cosgrove; another, with Alfred Pellan, taken during an exhibition in Paris. Being cognizant of René Gagnon’s creation is, to me, one of life’s blessings. Could it be one of the best kept secret of Québec art history?

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 Texte de Michel Bois

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