Tuesday, March 27, 2012

30 Things We Love About Toronto: No. 22 Norval Morrisseau

Where magazine have included a reference to Kinsman Robinson Galleries and specifically to the artworks of Norval Morrisseau in their April issue as one of the "30 Things We Love About Toronto". No. 22: Learning more about Canada's First Nations heritage through the works of Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau, including The Sacred Bear Giving Children and Animals a Ride (pictured), at Kinsman Robinson Galleries (See page 66 April edition of Toronto magazine). From where.ca: Where magazine provides timely, local information on the hottest and most essential shopping, dining, cultural attractions and entertainment. Download digital edition »
30 Things We Love About Toronto this April »
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Friday, March 23, 2012

Morrisseau's Painting Bear & Fish Harmony

Bear & Fish Harmony, 1978 [SOLD]
Acrylic on paper, 17.5x23.5 in, 44.45x59.69 cm
Marked by its deft fluidity of line, this painting is a masterful portrayal of its genre. Sacred fish is seated diagonally atop sacred bear. The two are connected by communication lines as power lines emanate from the fish. Norval Morrisseau executed one of his universal themes at the height of his Pollock period: the interconnection of all creatures, and their dependence on each other for survival. According to Ojibwe lore, sacred fish (pointing right towards the future) is the vessel for carrying the soul to the afterlife while the spirits of their ancestors are said to inhabit the bear (pointing left towards the past).
Private Collection, Toronto
The Pollock Gallery, Toronto (label verso)
Acquired directly from the artist
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Sunday, March 18, 2012

Morrisseau Signed COA 'For The Money'

Here's a telling comment that was originally posted to Mr. Matulic's blog by Norval Morrisseau's youngest son, Christian, on 28 November, 2007 (click on image to enlarge). The comment has since been removed by Mr. Matulic. Beginning at line 5, Christian states, "What is the point of having this blog if spirit walker only posts what he wants to share with the rest of us." He goes on to write, "In the spring of 2002 in thunder bay Ontario* A fellow by the name of mr Bill Wallace came to the house with A # of painting and asked my father [Norval Morrisseau] to authenticate some painting for him and his partner — And for a fee My father did.  he sign papers with the paintings picture on the paper stating the painting where his — Just after mr Bill Wallace left my father called me back into the room and said to me that he has never painted or even seen these paintings ever — So I asked him why did you sign then, he replied well for the money!"

To recap, while the Morrisseau signatures and thumbprints on these so-called Certificates of Authenticity** are real — no forensic examiner required — they're not worth the paper they're written on as a means of authentication. Besides, if a person is forced, tricked, or coerced into entering into an agreement, then typically it is not considered to be "legally binding".
*During this 2002 trip to Thunder Bay, Norval Morrisseau was not advised by either Don Robinson or KRG, nor was he in the care of Gabe Vadas. Rather, he acted of his own accord in the care of his relatives.
**KRG no longer issue COAs per ADAC directive 2007/03/13.
See our related post: Don't be misled by COAs »
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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Morrisseau's Painting Mikkinak, The Turtle

Mikkinak, The Turtle, 1989 [SOLD]
Acrylic on canvas, 48x30in, 121.92x76.2cm
Painted while the artist lived in the A-frame house at Aldergrove, BC on the Coghlan Art Studio property.
Private Collection, Maple Ridge, BC
Acquired from the artist

"Mikkinak, the ancient sacred turtle of the Ojibway shaking tent rites. The turtle was the interpreter of the demi-gods who came into the shaking tent ceremony performed by the shaman. The lines represent continuation, and the balls, the never ending circle of power." -from exhibition catalogue by Musée du Québec (now Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec), 1966
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Saturday, March 10, 2012

A History of 'Genuine Morrisseau'

On 7 March, 2008, Paul Robinson started a blog called Genuine Morrisseau From KRG in an effort to refute the misinformation that has been circulating on the Internet since 2007. Paul established KRG’s blog in order to inform the public, and in particular KRG’s clientele, of the continuing discussion concerning the authenticity of Norval Morrisseau art. On 18 June, 2009, Paul suspended the blog in order to concentrate his efforts on the emerging micro-blogging site, Twitter. By 18 September, 2010, Paul resumed the blog as he became increasingly aware that the concerted campaign of misinformation was not going away.

So, let's continue to separate fact from fiction: On one side, you have the artist, Norval Morrisseau, who said, "I, Norval Morrisseau, did not paint the picture shown in the photograph" after he was shown a reproduction of an alleged Morrisseau on 18 October, 2004 at his Toronto hotel. Then you have the artist's dealer, Don Robinson, having handled well over 1,000 authentic Norval Morrisseaus acquired directly from the artist over 18 years, who said that various alleged Morrisseaus were "not painted by Norval Morrisseau's hand" in 4 separate expert reports that were relied upon by the Courts.

On the other side, you have a document examiner, with impressive credentials yet no fine art experience, who said, "In my opinion there is strong support for the view that the author of the K1-K13 specimen material wrote the questioned signatures on Q1-Q3". However, he qualifies his statement by saying, "The absence of specimen signatures executed with a brush and paint has limited the scope of this examination".

Now, uh, who are you going to believe?
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