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Down To Earth Art Gallery - Norval Morrisseau Moose Harmony

 

Some of our Noteworthy Artists That Aren’t Regularly Available To Our Gallery:

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Noteworthy Artists That Aren’t Regularly Available To Our Gallery

Down To Earth Art Gallery has or have had original paintings by a truly impressive list of artists. From a number of Group of Seven members, to Maud Lewis and Norval Morrisseau. This list is outside of the artists that we exhibited regularly or periodically over our 22 years. Sometimes it has only been one painting by a particular artist, other times we have been fortunate enough to have multiple pieces by the same artist. All are very collectible, most come to us from people downsizing their lives, or clients simply changing up their private collections. We always require good provenance with any artwork so our customers can be confident with their purchases. Down To Earth Art Gallery guarantees the authenticity of every painting that we sell.

The list is always changing on our Noteworthy section of our website, so check it out often. If you’re looking for a particular artist’s work let us know, we keep a list of art that our clients are interested in. Paintings often don’t make it to our website, they are spoken for as we receive them.

To see a list of artists that we have or have had, click here.

"Loon With Fish" Norval Morrisseau

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$25,000.00 Cdn
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Product Details

Original Acrylic on Canvas measuring 36 x 24 inches, 39 x 27 including the frame.

Provenance

Down To Earth Art Gallery purchased this painting, a 36 x 24, original acrylic on canvas, from a couple in Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta in February, 2020. Their names will be provided for full provenance to the new owner of the painting, and they are aware of that.

They had visited Down To Earth Art Gallery in the Spring of 2019, while vacationing in Nova Scotia. After seeing a Norval Morrisseau original in my gallery, the gentleman informed me that they had two original Norval Morrisseau paintings. One of the paintings was in a photo with Mr. Morrisseau, that was taken in Alberta, where they had met him. The painting in the photo is a 36 x 24 inch original acrylic on canvas that they acquired in 1984. The second original is an acrylic on paper measuring, 29 x 22 inches, and was acquired in 1985. They had been given to them as Christmas gifts from a good friend, Galal Helmy.

The following are statements from the couple, and again, they are aware that their names will accompany the painting when sold:

“While we lived in Jasper, Alberta, we acquired these two paintings by Norval Morrisseau in approximately 1984 and 1985. A gentleman by the name of Galal Helmy. who was the owner of the Tea House at Maligne Canyon at that time brought Norval to Jasper to do some paintings, and provided meals and lodging to Mr. Morrisseau. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to meet him over dinner. A very interesting man. Extremely spiritual. One of the questions I recall asking him was how he came up with the ideas of what to paint. His answer was that he would dream it then immediately start painting.He spent one winter in Jasper living at the tea house and to the best of my knowledge between the time previously mentioned”.

“ The photo of Norval Morrisseau with the painting on canvas was taken at the Tea House, Maligne Canyon, jasper, Alberta”.

They provided me with the photo of Norval Morrisseau with the 36 x 24 Acrylic on canvas, as well as photos of them with each of the original paintings in their home in Alberta, for Provenance.

Norval Morrisseau, (1931 – 2007)

The first living Indigenous artist to have an exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada, “Norval Morrisseau: Shaman Artist”

Norval Morrisseau is the grandfather of native art in Canada. He is credited with creating the whole Woodland style of art, what almost every aboriginal artist is doing today, started with Norval Morrisseau, he has inspired three generations of First Nations artists. He made it okay to share their culture through their art. Artists like Daphne Odjig, Carl Ray, Roy Thomas, Eddy Cobiness, Jackson Beardy, all were then able to make their contributions through their own imagery because of Norval Morrisseau.

Born on the Sandy Point Reserve near Beardmore, Ontario, Morrisseau was raised by his maternal grandparents, Moses Nanakonagos, (Potan), and his wife Veronique.This was a traditional arrangement. As the eldest of seven boys it was expected that he would be the link between his grandparents and his own generation. The tradition benefited both participants. The younger generation was schooled in the cultural conventions of the Anishnabe and the older generation benefited from the young muscles.

Potan was a Midewinini and Jissakan - a shaking tent seer. Morrisseau learned stories, responsibilities and spiritual concepts from his grandfather but in his eighth year was taken away to a Catholic residential school in Fort William. It wasn't a good experience for the child and in the end it resulted in only a 4th grade education. Centuries earlier it was the Catholics themselves through the mouthpiece of their Jesuit brethren , who had declared that if they were given a child for the first eight years of his life they could influence the man forever.

Lucky for us...Potan got there first!

When Norval left school early he started making drawings of the prehistoric rock art and of the images he had been shown by his grandfather on the Medewiwin birch scrolls. The elders told him that this was taboo.

At 19, Norval developed tuberculosis and was sent to a sanatorium in Fort William. To pass the time he again began drawing the same forbidden images that got him into trouble with the elders a few years previously. A doctor, not knowing of the taboo, encouraged him to paint. At this time Morrisseau had a series of dreams and visions that he said called him to be a shaman-artist. He decided that the cultural images of the Ojibwa could only be made relevant to contemporary minds with a contemporary medium. He began painting in earnest no longer caring about the taboo.

Eventually, with the tuberculosis under control, he moved back to the reserve, and began exploring old canoe routes, paying particular attention to the rock petroglyphs common in the area. It was during this time that he had another dream. In it the manitous came to him, and in a traditional naming ceremony declared him to be Miskwaabik Animiiki, Copper Thunderbird. From that time on, Morrisseau wrote his spirit name in syllabics (taught to him by his wife) on all his paintings.

"My paintings are icons - that is to say, they are images which help focus on spiritual powers, generated by traditional beliefs and wisdom," he said.

Without the artistic elegance, the same features are seen on the Midewiwin birch bark scrolls of rites and song mnemonics. They are also roughly suggested in the rock petroglyphs all over the woodlands north of the Great Lakes.

In the beginning there was no market for Norval Morrisseau's paintings or any other contemporary native artist's work, for that matter. The mainstream art world had always excluded the prehistoric and functional works by native artists, and the anthropology versus art debate continued well into the 1980's. So Norval lived in poverty on his reserve, bartering drawings and paintings for food and other supplies.

Despite all that, the paintings of Norval Morrisseau stormed the Toronto market in 1962.

In the summer of that year Toronto gallery owner, Jackson Pollock, had been teaching painting in northern Ontario. Pressed by friends, Pollock begrudgingly made an effort to visit Morrisseau's home to see the Indian artist he'd been told about. He was stunned by the combination of imagery and colours in Norval's work. Until the artist envisioned the possibility, nothing like it had existed in the world. Pollock arranged a show of Morrisseau's work in Toronto and the artist exploded onto the contemporary art scene on opening day. Every painting sold.

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Some names of Noteworthy Artists not regularly available to our gallery that we have or have had.

  • Norval Morrisseau 1932-2007 (Creator of the Woodland style of art)
  • Franz Johnston 1888 -1949 (Original member of the Group of Seven)
  • Arthur Lismer 1885-1969 (Original Member of The Group of Seven)
  • A.Y. Jackson 1882-1974 (Original member of the Group of Seven)
  • A.J. Casson 1898-1992 (Became a member of The Group of Seven in 1926)
  • J. W. Beatty 1869-1941 (Contemporary of the Group of Seven)
  • Maud Lewis 1903-1970 (Folk Artist)
  • Everett Lewis 1893-1979 (Maud’s husband)
  • Joe Norris  1924-1996 (Folk Artist)
  • Charlie Norris 1929-2013 (Brother to Joe)
  • William Winter
  • Joseph Purcell
  • Tom Forrestall
  • William DeGarthe
  • Anthony Law
  • John Cook
  • Trudy Doyle
  • Charles Beauregarde
  • Charles Hannaford
  • Al Chaddock
  • Steven Rhude
  • Fred Trask
  • Duke Redbird
  • Heather Lawson (Stonemason)
  • Peter Rankin
  • Leon Dolice
  • James G. Tyler, 1855-1931
  • Arthur Lloy, 1929-1986
  • Frederick Arthur Verner, 1836-1928
  • Lucius O’Brien 1832-1899
  • Roy Thomas 1949-2004
  • Eddy Cobiness 1933-1996
  • Robert Harris 1849-1919
  • Suzanne Chrysler MacDonald
  • Greg MacEwan (Mi’kmaq Basket Artist)
  • Joe Arsenault ( Stone Carvings)
  • James Lumbers 1929-

 

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Noteworthy Artists That Aren’t Regularly Available To Our Gallery
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  • J.W. Beatty
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