Saturday, October 20, 2012

Norval Morrisseau - Extended until Nov. 20

There's been an overwhelming response to our current Norval Morrisseau retrospective, so much so that we have decided to extend the exhibition another month. On view until Nov. 20: An unprecedented number of original works from the '70s illustrated in the Sinclair/Pollock book, The Art of Norval Morrisseau (Methuen, 1979). A rare, incised birch bark scroll is of particular importance. Circa 1958-61, Thunderbird With Ancestral Motifs was part of the Imperial Oil Collection. The scroll was originally acquired from Jack Pollock in 1980. Norval Morrisseau is pictured above, at age 35, painting outdoors — which he enjoyed thoroughly — at Red Lake during August, 1966.
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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Morrisseau Art Stands Test of Time, 1975

"A vibrant interplay of birds, fishes and snakes."

On August 25, 1975, Time Magazine published an arts review on the iconic Canadian painter, Norval Morrisseau. Time reported, "The result is an art of fierce clarity and sophistication ... Morrisseau has moved to more flowing and self-confident works." Three original paintings illustrated the article: The Artist With His Four Wives (1975), Self-Portrait Devoured by His Own Passions (1974) and Nature's Balance (1975, pictured above). Remarking on the original painting titled Nature's Balance, arts reporter, Jon Anderson, wrote, "A vibrant interplay of birds, fishes and snakes." He continued, "The content of Morrisseau's current works is often more personally revealing than he cares to discuss." Powerful words from the past still ring true today.

Illustrated: Nature's Balance, 1975, Acrylic on kraft paper, 73x48 in, 185.4x121.9 cm, Provenance: Collection of Faith Sinclair, Toronto; Acquired directly from the artist.  Reproduced: p. 114, Sinclair/Pollock, The Art of Norval Morrisseau. Toronto: Methuen Publications, 1979; p. 55, Carpenter, Carole, artmagazine (Nov/Dec 1979); Time magazine (Aug 25, 1975). Exhibited: Norval Morrisseau 2012 Retrospective. Sep 15 - Oct 20, 2012, Kinsman Robinson Galleries, Toronto.
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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Norval Morrisseau: The Early Years, 1960

»Pictured is the streetside view (2008) of the house on McKenzie Island where Norval Morrisseau lived for some time, and where he first met Selwyn Dewdney (the self-taught archaeologist, ethnologist and author) and Bob Sheppard (the OPP constable stationed on McKenzie Island from 1956-60 who introduced the two) during the Spring of 1960. The house has been occupied by a couple for the past 19 years. Essentially, it hasn't undergone any major renovation since Morrisseau lived there.
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Norval Morrisseau: The Early Years, 1967

»In 1967, Canadians joined together to celebrate Canada's 100th birthday. The Centennial Committee commissioned Norval Morrisseau to paint a monumental mural for the Indians of Canada pavilion during Expo 67 held in Montréal. Pavilion commissioner, Andrew Tanahokate Delisle, Chief of Caughnawaga (Kahnawake) First Nations, was responsible to provide visitors "with an honest, sincere depiction of Aboriginal life in Canada". Prior to completion, Norval Morrisseau walked off the job (which he left in Carl Ray's hands) over objections raised by government organizers to Morrisseau's portrayal of the bare-breasted Earth Mother. Remaining true to his vision, Morrisseau's dedication read, "In honor to my Grandfather Potan Onanakonagas and to our Ancestors - Copper Thunderbird".
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Norval Morrisseau: The Early Years, 1965

»Iconic Canadian painter, Norval Morrisseau, proudly displays one of his transformational paintings inside his home at Red Lake in 1965. This painting shows a shaman figure in full regalia, with medicine bags worn around the neck—a symbol connected to personal protection and power—in partial transformation as the mythical thunderbird.
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