Sunday, April 19, 2015

Much Ado about Morrisseau

When it comes to online research about Norval Morrisseau, much has been written about forensic analyses. Last year, a New York trial court held that handwriting expert testimony was not "scientific". Nonscientific experts are "experientially qualified" — that is to say, their experience largely is their expertise. Yet few experts have ever witnessed Norval Morrisseau draw, paint or sign anything.

In reality, Norval Morrisseau rarely signed any absolute genuine paintings on the reverse, and if he did, they were more likely than not titled only in pencil. Morrisseau's distinctive combinations of lowercase and uppercase cursive letters are easily discernible by anyone with significant experience with the painter.

Paul Robinson personally inspected hundreds of genuine Morrisseaus as he inventoried all of the remaining artwork in Norval Morrisseau's possession at the artist's Nanaimo studio during Spring, 2001. "I think I know Morrisseau's work as well as anybody," said Mr. Robinson, 50 years old. "The enormity of disinformation by a few individuals with a vested interest in selling fakes is a travesty," he said.
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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Morrisseau Inspired 'Thunderbird Poems'

Armand Garnet Ruffo, Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous literatures and languages, has a new poetry book inspired by Norval Morrisseau paintings titled The Thunderbird Poems (Harbour Publishing, 2015). From the publisher: "Deeply immersed in Norval Morrisseau’s life story, and possessing thorough knowledge of the Ojibway storytelling traditions which grounded so much of the artist’s creativity, Armand Garnet Ruffo provides fresh poetic interpretations of the most renowned and striking works of one of Canada’s most celebrated painters. The Thunderbird Poems delves into Morrisseau’s creative life through compressed, imagistic language, while untangling the complex and powerful threads of meaning, tradition and emotional power that resonate throughout Morrisseau’s strong lines and vibrant colours." Watch out for Armand Ruffo's recent interview on CBC Radio, The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers.
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