6 7 Charles Gagnon Shooting Gallery, 1961 Oil on canvas 66 x 74 in. (168 x 188 cm) Signed Provenance: The Estate of Charles Gagnon Exhibited: Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Charles Gagnon Retrospective, 2001, cat#32 Shooting Gallery is the largest and most edgy of the paintings that Gagnon undertook in 1961 to commemorate a family summer vacation in Old Orchard Park, Maine. This was a popular beach destination with an amusement park and an impressively long wooden pier lined with tourist businesses. The painting drops us in the midst of this brash carnival world. Maybe we can discern the props of a shooting gallery with a counter, an attendant and a shooter, but Gagnon has little interest in representational coherence. The composition is more like a Pop Art collage that assembles discernible images and fragments of hand-lettered commercial signs, all rendered freehand and overrun with (well-calculated) accidental markings and splatters. As we learn from related paintings, the awning-like red and white stripes recollect the family’s beach towel, and the big black splotch denotes Gagnon’s wife Michiko’s hair, she here playing shooter after spending the afternoon with her towel sunning on the beach. – Roald Nasgaard Roald Nasgaard is the author of Abstract Painting in Canada (2008), The Plasticiens and Beyond: Montreal, 1955–1970 (2013) and Higher States: Lawren Harris and His American Contemporaries (2017).