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Norval Morrisseau Retrospective in New York until January 20, 2008

by admin ~ December 29th, 2007

Norval Morrisseau: Shaman Artist, a 50 work retrospective organized by the National Gallery of Canada, is on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), George Gustav Heye Center (New York), until January 20, 2008. Internationally renown for his startling images, enigmatic persona, and bold use of color, Morrisseau was the originator of an Anishnaabe art movement (sometimes called Woodland, Medicine, or Legend Painting), and was widely celebrated by artists and art dealers worldwide. The 2006 traveling exhibit features works in mixed media, often on unusual surfaces (such as birch bark, roofing paper, cardboard, deer hide, and brown mill paper), and explores themes of Anishnaabe spirituality, storytelling, cultural tensions, and shamanism developed over his long, prolific, and sometimes turbulent career. New York Times Art Critic Benjamin Genocchio wrote about the exhibit: “it’s been a long time since I saw a show of such potent spirituality, warmth and feeling.”

Norval Morisseau (1931-2007), also known by his Anishnaabe name “Miskwaabik Animiki” (Copper Thunderbird), has been the subject of many detailed recollections, national tributes, and personal remembrances since his death from advanced Parkinson’s Disease early in December. Some of the recent tributes on his life and work include statements from Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine, the Government of Canada, Toronto Mayor David Miller, exhibit curator Greg A. Hill, and obituaries from the New York Times, CBC, Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star (P. ), Toronto Star (B. , and more. A synopsis of selected works from the retrospective is available from the CBC. The exhibit runs at the NMAI until Jan. 20, 2008, and is free to the public.

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