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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  1. I haven't been too interested as of late with regard to the controversy of Morrisseau's artistic legacy, but the recent National post article is right on the money. The one thing that I do understand about Norval's art is that there is a huge issue with forgeries, and I know that the N.M.H.S. and KRG also understand this, no doubt about it. Norval Morrisseau himself showed me during my visits with him throughout 2005, 2006 and 2007.

    He showed me what they look like, he commented on them as being garbage, not his work, and asked me to help him. I've done all I can one would suppose. There are some other examples here who are trying to do the right thing by setting the record straight. KRG is one of them, I applaud you as an art institution for trying to correct the issues and for standing up for a man and his brilliant creative legacy in our Norval. Many have tried to paint you as being a non authority on Morrisseau, that portrait is false. I know first hand that KRG has the fortitude and courage to right all mistakes of the past. That takes strength in character, and I don't see anyone else doing what KRG has been doing when it comes to an institution like your gallery.

    It's a disgrace to see the lies and deceptions going on out there about Morrisseau's artistic legacy. Its quite embarrassing to tell you the truth. Accountability and transparency are principles that are sometimes very difficult to find in the business world. When it comes to the integrity of preserving a legacy in such rich cultural heritage as it is quite obvious with Norval Morrisseau, I see KRG leading the way.

    Norval Morrisseau's art continues to inspire thousands of people. The least we can do is to help protect what was rightfully shared with the People of Canada. Not only is it a privilege to enjoy beautiful art, it is our duty as Canadian citizens to protect it.

    Thank you,


  2. Thanks again for your encouraging words. Regarding the recent press, in particular, esteemed defence counsel cleverly omitted that Norval Morrisseau, himself, declared specific paintings to be forgeries in sworn statements several years before he died. And he was the first person to do so. Though Morrisseau suffered the ravages of Parkinson's, he did not have Alzheimer's. Make no mistake, Morrisseau knew exactly which paintings he created and which ones he did not.


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