Friday, March 18, 2016

Norval Morrisseau, b. 1931

A combination of poor record keeping, the effects of living a nomadic lifestyle and a youthful desire has led to considerable confusion surrounding Norval Morrisseau’s date of birth.

Let's set the record straight. Correspondence appears to confirm Norval Morrisseau’s date of birth as March 14, 1931. Various media reports from 1962, at the time of Morrisseau's meteoric rise to the top of the art world, state his age as 31. Norval's then-manager confirmed that Norval agreed at the time. An avid collector of Morrisseau art, Dr. Bernhard Cinader, (D.SC Immunology, 1958), located Norval's medical records prior to his own death in 2001. Norval agreed with those records. Moreover, the year 1931 became an established fact when Norval Morrisseau applied for a Canadian passport to travel to France for “Magiciens de la terre” a contemporary art exhibit at the Centre Georges Pompidou in 1989.

Michele Vadas, Morrisseau's caregiver over twenty years, offered the following explanation. Norval, even if he knew, would have liked the fact that the year 1932 made him appear younger and that it placed his birth date in line with the year Elizabeth Taylor was born. Norval had a long-held fascination with Taylor, at times even comparing her to his own mother.
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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Norval Morrisseau: Return To The House of Invention

Norval Morrisseau: Return To The House of Invention
Hardcover book, 2005
12.25x9.5inches, 31.115x24.13cm
Revised edition of Norval Morrisseau: Travels To The House of Invention; Key Porter Books (1997) out-of-print book

Hardcover with Dust Jacket; 160 pages; 66 Plates In Colour; Authors: Norval Morrisseau and Donald Robinson; Publisher: Key Porter Books (2005); Language: English; ISBN-10: 1552637263; ISBN-13: 978-1552637265; Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 0.8 x 12.3 inches; Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds

An out-of-print book
Brand new copies available
$60 + S & H

Flap copy: Norval Morrisseau is perhaps the greatest Native artist ever to have lived. He is a shaman, a storyteller and the inspiration for one of Canada’s most vibrant and exciting art movements, the Woodland School of Art. Through his magical paintings he has given new life to ancient Native legends and fables and has helped to restore the dignity of his once-proud people. This new edition introduces numerous previously unpublished works to the book, as well as commentaries by collectors who have followed Morrisseau’s artistic development through the decades. It also includes Duke Redbird’s The Ballad of Noval Morrisseau, a deeply spiritual poem that personifies the power the artist’s paintings have for his people. A true celebration of the art and life of this remarkable man, Norval Morrisseau: Return to the House of Invention, provides insights into the artist’s imagination and mastery of his medium. In three essays, and the quotations that accompany the paintings, we learn about Morrisseau’s approach to his work and the important historical and cultural influences that shaped his art. He tells us, in his own words, about his travels to the dream-like House of Invention, his source of inspiration for both content and colour. In Norval Morrisseau: Return to the House of Invention, we learn of the myths and legends of his ancestors, which had a profound influence on his brush, and how they relate to his work. The book now contains paintings and other pieces created over Morrisseau’s entire career. It is complemented by an essay by Donald C. Robinson, in which he describes the painter’s unique approach to the physical act of painting, and explains how Morrisseau has developed as a master technician and colorist despite having little formal training. Norval Morrisseau is truly one of the most original and significant artists Canada has ever produced. This exceptional volume stands as a testament to both his incredible talent as a painter and his inspiring depth as a man.
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