Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When Jack Met Norval

During the summer of '62, Jack Pollock - artist and owner of The Pollock Gallery, Toronto - toured Northern Ontario giving week-long lessons in oil painting. Two ladies from the Beardmore Art Club took his course at Quetico Park.  When Jack said he had an extra week with no commitments, they invited him to Beardmore. That's how I came to take a week-long session in oil painting with Jack at the Beardmore Elementary School in Aug 1962.

My mother belonged to the Beardmore Art Club and sold the painting supplies for the group in her hardware store.  Norval Morrisseau came in often, she told me later, to buy supplies and had asked her and her manager, Jerome Faubert, if they thought his paintings were any good.  My mother didn't know, but when Jack came to Beardmore, she said she told Norval to take his paintings to the school to show him.

A meeting was arranged around the mid-point of Jack's stay in Beardmore.  I was standing beside Pollock when he first laid eyes on one of Norval Morrisseau's paintings - I heard a sharp intake of breath. I looked at Jack - he was speechless.  Then he said, without hesitation, "I'm going to have a show."

My mother bought two paintings from Morrisseau that fall as they were loading up a truck to go to Toronto for the exhibition.  She was rather backward in this kind of thing but she said, "Everyone was buying them." She liked these two, which she had framed and hung in her various living rooms until the end of her life. 

- Nancy Robinson, Sep 2011
Twitter | kinsmanrobinson.com

1 comment:

  1. You’ll notice that this eyewitness account of their first meeting is distinctly different from a separate occasion that Jack Pollock documented in his diary-like memoir, Dear M.


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