Norval Morrisseau: Life & Work by Carmen Robertson

Dubbed “Picasso of the North,” Morrisseau (1932–2007) developed the Woodland School of art. A renowned First Nations artist, he was the sole Canadian painter included in Centre Pompidou’s French Revolution Bicentennial. Read or download the online art book here: http://www.aci-iac.ca/norval-morrisseau
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In “Jo-Go Way Moose Dream,” (c. 1964, Glenbow Museum) Morrisseau recreates the story of a dream of an Ojibwa named Luke Onanakongos (Jo-Go Way). #ArtCanInstitute

>>> Norval Morrisseau Facts, Articles & Art: Jo-Go Way Moose Dream - Norval Morrisseau - 1964

The phallus found its way into Morrisseau’s erotic works as a powerful symbol of masculinity and fertility. “Indian Erotic Fantasy,” n.d., private collection. #ArtCanInstitute

The phallus found its way into Morrisseau’s erotic works as a powerful symbol of masculinity and fertility. “Indian Erotic Fantasy,” n.

The black lines that would become hallmarks of Morrisseau’s style are visible here, though they are less intense than in later works. “Untitled (Thunderbird Transformation),” c. 1958–60, Canadian Museum of History. #ArtCanInstitute

The black lines that would become hallmarks of Morrisseau’s style are visible here, though they are less intense than in later works. “Untitled (Thunderbird Transformation),” c. Canadian Museum of History.

Morrisseau’s erotic works significantly reveal the artist’s personal views on sexuality and they also celebrate un-sanitized versions of the profane, which play a strong role in Indigenous cultural stories. “Artist in Union with Mother Earth,” 1972, National Gallery of Canada. #ArtCanInstitute

Artist in Union with Mother Earth

This work was acquired by Joseph and Esther Weinstein in Red Lake in the late 1950s. Morrisseau, “Untitled,” c. 1958, Canadian Museum of History. #ArtCanInstitute

This work was acquired by Joseph and Esther Weinstein in Red Lake in the late Morrisseau, “Untitled,” c. Canadian Museum of History.

This is one of approximately sixty drawings Morrisseau completed while imprisoned in Kenora Jail for a short time in the early 1970s. Morrisseau, “Transmigration of the Human Soul into Another Existence,” 1972–73, National Gallery of Canada. #ArtCanInstitute

This is one of approximately sixty drawings Norval Morrisseau completed while imprisoned in Kenora Jail for a short time in the early Morrisseau, “Transmigration of the Human Soul into Another Existence,”

Morrisseau was one of the Indigenous artists commissioned to to design the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo 67, but left the project when government officials deemed his mural design of bear cubs nursing from Mother Earth to be too controversial. His mural is pictured here. #ArtCanInstitute

Norval Morrisseau’s mural for the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo

Around 1958 Morrisseau met Susan Ross, a printmaker and painter from Thunder Bay who  specialized in painting portraits of local Indigenous people in a Post-Impressionist style. Morrisseau, “Susan,” 1983, National Gallery of Canada. #ArtCanInstitute

Around 1958 Morrisseau met Susan Ross, a printmaker and painter from Thunder Bay who specialized in painting portraits of local Indigenous people in a Post-Impressionist style. Morrisseau, “Susan,” National Gallery of Canada.

Saul Williams’s “Homage to Morrisseau” is featured on the cover of the exhibition catalogue “Norval Morrisseau and the Emergence of the Image Makers,” Art Gallery of Ontario, 1984. #ArtCanInstitute

Saul Williams’s “Homage to Morrisseau” is featured on the cover of the exhibition catalogue “Norval Morrisseau and the Emergence of the Image Makers,” Art Gallery of Ontario,

Daphne Odjig founded the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. (PNIAI), which came to be known as the Indian Group of Seven, to promote and support Indigenous artists throughout Canada. Odjig, “So Great Was Their Love,” 1975, private collection. #ArtCanInstitute

Daphne Odjig founded the Professional Native Indian Artists Inc. (PNIAI), which came to be known as the Indian Group of Seven, to promote and support Indigenous artists throughout Canada. Odjig, “So Great Was Their Love,” private collection.

Installation of Morrisseau’s “Androgyny” (1983), and “Man Changing into Thunderbird” (1977), in the exhibition “Norval Morrisseau: Shaman Artist” at the National Gallery of Canada, 2006. #ArtCanInstitute

Installation of Morrisseau’s “Androgyny” and “Man Changing into Thunderbird” in the exhibition “Norval Morrisseau: Shaman Artist” at the National Gallery of Canada,

Still image of Morrisseau from “The Paradox of Norval Morrisseau,” directed by Henning Jacobson and Duke Redbird, 1974. #ArtCanInstitute

Still image of Morrisseau from “The Paradox of Norval Morrisseau,” directed by Henning Jacobson and Duke Redbird,

Rock painting of Thunderbird at Cliff Lake in Wabakimi Provincial Park, Ontario. #ArtCanInstitute

Rock painting of Thunderbird at Cliff Lake in Wabakimi Provincial Park, Ontario.

(Clockwise from top left) Harriet, Norval, Pierre, and Victoria Morrisseau photographed in Toronto in March 1964. #ArtCanInstitute

(Clockwise from top left) Harriet, Norval, Pierre, and Victoria Morrisseau photographed in Toronto in March

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