Friday, February 11, 2011

Who was Norval Morrisseau?

A new book could be a "game changer" for the Morrisseau art market. Dr. Carmen Robertson, a professor at the University of Regina (UR), received a federal grant to answer a key question:  Who was Norval Morrisseau?  She is currently working on a SSHRC-supported monograph on Norval Morrisseau:
"Historically, this Anishnaabe artist has not fit neatly into the history of Canadian art. As the mishomis or grandfather of a new artistic movement within Indigenous contemporary art, Morrisseau challenged the Canadian art establishment to make a space for a discourse related to Indigenous aesthetics. While his advances influenced generations of artists, Morrisseau's contributions have often been couched within a racial discourse fraught with stereotypical constructions, undermining his artistic achievements."
From the UR Office of Research Services: Robertson's in-depth analysis of Morrisseau's art will identify the colonizing gestures in the language that is contained within the artist and his work to engage his body of work theoretically and methodologically within an art historical discourse.  Her results will illustrate how his exceptional artistic contributions and place in Canadian art history contributed to an emerging discourse on Indigenous art.
Colonized Bodies: The Art of Norval Morrisseau
Carmen Robertson, PhD
Associate Professor of Art Contemporary Aboriginal History
Department of Visual Arts, University of Regina
Illustrated: Man Warding Off Psychic Powers (1978) Acrylic on canvas, 30x40 in, 76x102 cm
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