Critical Autobiography and Analysis of the Work
I truly must have been born under a lucky star. My parents had been living in Paris for three years where my father Maurice Gagnon (1904–1956), was studying art history at the Sorbonne, with Henri Focillon and other towering figures, before he turned towards art criticism. I was born on 18 June 1935 and our family returned to Montreal just three weeks later. My direct connection to modern art – "living" art, as we called it – was in large measure due to my father. As I have recounted elsewhere, my earliest childhood memory involves visiting the Borduas family. When Fernand Léger (1881–1955) came from France to Montreal in 1944, we hosted him; and the poet Éloi de Grandmont was a frequent visitor as well. One night, Charles Daudelin (1920–2001) drew two immense figures on our living room wall. Louis Muhlstock (1904–2001) came too; I still remember him scaring us kids silly with his severed arm trick.