Kenyon College

Renaissance Man and Woman


Charles Eugene Gagnon
(American, 1934-2012)

Renaissance Man and Woman, 1973.
32 x 81 x 69 inches.
Kenyon College Collection; Anonymous gift.

On Public View: Kenyon College, Hill Theater, Northwest Lawn

Charles Eugene Gagnon’s bronze figurative sculpture of a young man and woman captured in a fleeting dance movement calls to mind ideals of beauty and inspiration. The curved bodies of the couple form a heart as they embrace the world, touching each other only by the tips of the fingers. Known throughout his career for his figurative bronze sculptures, Gagnon’s body of work exudes the ineffable qualities of love, peace, and hope. To achieve this expression, Gagnon often employed musicians to play their instruments in his studio for inspiration while he sculpted the wax forms for his bronze sculptures.

Renaissance Man and Woman exudes joy in its location: surrounded by flowers and trees next to the Bolton Theater, the couple appears to celebrate the world in all of its seasons. Gagnon preferred for his sculptures to be displayed outside, as he thought the sunlight was the most “honest light” to illuminate the beauty of the bronze. While Gagnon’s sculptures are in collections around the world, his most famous pieces can be found in his hometown of Rochester, Minnesota.

Isabelle Brauer `16