Norval Morrisseau R.C.A.

Native Communication

acrylic on board
40x32 in.
$26,000 Cdn.

Frame/Craft Fine Art Gallery, Edmonton;
Private collection, Calgary;
Sale of Hodgins Art Auctions, 2010, lot 351;
Private collection, Calgary

Morrisseau is hailed as the “Picasso of the North”, and in his own right contributed immensely to abstract art in Canada. He was a leading figure in Contemporary Indigenous art during his lifetime, and laid the foundations for the Woodland school of art. Morriseau was born and raised in Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek, an Ojibwa First Nation near Thunder Bay, Ontario, and his work sought influence from his cultural heritage, spiritual themes, and as his career progressed, his personal history. In many of his works, he depicts the relationships and connection between adults and children, and the passage of knowledge and history through family. In Native Communication, we see the figures, perhaps a father and child or perhaps an older and younger version of one person, connected, as the child seems to reflect the beginnings of the same geometric patterns we see fully established in the elder figure.

Norval Morrisseau, artist (b at Sand Point Reserve, near Beardmore, Ont 14 Mar 1932; d at Toronto 4 Dec 2007). Norval Morrisseau was a self-taught artist of Ojibwa ancestry (his Ojibwa name, which appears in syllabics on his paintings, means “Copper Thunderbird”) and he originated the pictographic style, or what…