Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Norval Morrisseau authentic works?

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This is one of the paintings that has been exhibited for sale on the COGHLAN ART studio & gallery website a few years ago.
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The same gallery states that paintings of that kind are fakes and that only paintings that they provide are proven to be authentic.
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My question to the above mentioned gallery would be to explain how the same art that they were selling in the past, as authentic, all of a sudden are fakes?
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*The painting in this posting is an authentic work of © Norval Morrisseau

36 comments:

Bryant Ross said...

Hi....My name is Bryant Ross and I am the director of Coghlan Art Studio and Gallery in Aldergrove B.C. Although I may not agree with many of the comments on this blog, I welcome the chance to communicate. This blog could be turned into a great place for the positive side of Norval Morrisseau. I will try to answer the questions directed at me, because they need to be answered. You will find my comments here and in other parts of the site.

As to the question of money. I have known and worked with Norval Morrisseau for over 20 years. Shortly after I met him he told me a story. It was a short story and he told it to me again and again over the years until it became my tailisman to live by.

"Money is a river that flows by the back of your house. You can dip in and get what you need or you can wade in and drown."

As to the above painting - I have never stated that it is fake. If memory serves me it was one of a group of 6 or 7 done on paper in a similar vain. From the picture it appears to be very real.

I do not claim that My gallery is the only place to get a real Morrisseau. I do claim that Coghlan Art will only sell a real morrisseau. It is all in the wording and some trive on twisting words

Anonymous said...

Mr.Ross why did you take advantage of the secondary market on eBay early this year by posting a WARNING COMMENT on your eBay listings?
This comment of yours ran on your listings for many months.Your comment scared many people off to this day from wanting to buy a genuine Norval Morrisseau painting.You have accomplished your dirty deed by damaging the secondary market which you find as stiff competion against your gallery prices.You chose a brilliant time to execute your plan of killing two birds with one stone.You new as well as all of us eBay vendors that there were questionable pieces being sold on ebay along with real ones at thje time.So you descided to yell "fire" and state that "ALL OF THE PAINTINGS SOLD ON EBAY SINCE AUGUST 2006 ARE FAKES".
This allowed you to scare off the forgeries on eBay and destroy the secondary market under the cloak of a Knight in Shinning Armour.Two birds with one stone was so tempting for you Bryant Ross that you could not resist the oppurtunity.The immutable law of Cause and effect have come back to haunt you Mr.Ross.I have also had customers email me saying "asking for your opinion" on the pieces that I sell on ebay and they have returned with your answer back to me that "it is an obvious forgery".I am cotemplating on suing you for damages to my business.I await your response.

Bryant Ross said...

I posted the warning on ebay because I was asked to by Norval Morrisseau. He was and is still concerned with the paintings that are being sold on ebay and does not want them included as part of his artistic history.
These paintings damage the Morrisseau marketplace. If you look at them with an open mind you would see that they are not painted by the hand of the master. Norval Morrisseau's paintings are beautiful positive pieces, Not ugly and dark.
I have to wonder about all the anonymous posting on this blog. If you are so rightious in your statments why don't you post your name?

Anonymous said...

I am not an art expert and do not claim to be a Morrisseau expert. I am a fan and have been for a while. I take any opportunity to view his work in a gallary or on line.

I have a question that I would be intersted in hearing a response to from those that are knowledgeable about Norval and his work (Kinsman Robinson, Bryant Ross, Gabe Vadas, Joe Mcleod, SpiritWalker, Anonymous, Empire Auctions, and all).

Is it a known fact that Morrisseau ever had assistants assist him in the painting of his original works (in the 70's or any other time)?

Did he have a home in Toronto he rented that he a his friends 'mass produced' large numbers of Norval Morrisseau paintings to capitalize on his name/fame perhaps resulting in the large number of paintings from the 1970's and has this carried on since then. I heard he had canvases hanging - he would walk along and paint the image with direction of what colours he visioned - his assistant would follow behind and execute and the Norval would follow up and sign.

I heard he and his team worked so hard and painted so much that they ended up clogging the plumbing of this house with acrylic paints that dried up in the drains -perhaps we will soon see those old pipes on ebay as an original Morrisseau painting :)

Is this a known fact or just another addition to the Morrisseau rumour mill?

Thanks signed - DinT rather then just anonymous)

morman said...

Good evening,
I have had the pleasure of meeting Norval on several occasions. I had the pleasure of framing 4 different shows in the late 70's and early 80's and I know him to be a very giving and spiritual man. In his eyes there was a joy and pain at the same time.I'm sorry Mr. Ross finds me confrontational but I find if you don't ask the question, you wont get an answer. I thank him for answering one of the two questions. I too had an affliction with alcohol and a career in the arts.I feel there is a parallel in our lives so that is why I follow his career with such interest.Is there not government resources to offset the costs for such a great man that has given so much culturally to this country? I agree we can all benefit by exchanging thoughts and the love we share for a great artist. My only fear is that he is being taken advantage of. It has happened his whole life and that saddens me.

Anonymous said...

Bryant Ross says-
"He has never titled, dated or signed in english on the back of any painting that I have personaly seen him do since 1987. I have examined many older documented works by Norval and have never found one signed in this way."
(This statement above is untrue.)

Norval Morrisseau had Signed Titled and Dated thousands of his paintings on the reverse of his creations.Many of his paintings have also been left blank on the reverse with no signature/date and/or title.MANY...NOT ALL.Be more accurate Mr.Ross your reputation is in jeopardy.

Anonymous said...

What are your Registered credentials Mr.Bryant Ross?
Are you registered with the Art Dealers Association of Canada (A.D.A.C) and/or any other registered appraisers such as the Canadaian Public appraisers C.P.A?
Association is not authorization Mr.Ross.This question is also addressed to Gabe Vadas.Claims of authenticity can only be addressed by people with Registration in their respective fields of expertise and who can participate with an unbiased judgement.
It is my understanding that the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society have(had)members that are actively involved in selling Norval Morrisseau art Works.This makes their standing contemptable and by default-partisan in any judgement now and in the future that they wish to pass.

Anonymous said...

Mr Ross,
I have to say that your statement about Norval not signing the backs of his works absurd. I am an art dealer that has worked very hard to sell the callibur of art that I do, which includes a number of Morrisseau's. To make a statement like that does our industry a grave injustice. One of the responsibilities as a gallery owner is to educate the general public on the art of Norval Morrisseau. It seems like you are doing a disservice to your customers. As for A.D.A.C. just doing it for the money is laughable. Do yourself a favor, look and see the criteria it takes to be a member in either the A.D.A.C. or the C.P.A. I believe that both associations bring with them the credentials to be taken seriously. As for the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society, I would like very much to see the list of these so called experts.

Anonymous said...

Hi DinT caught in this battle. Perhaps Bryant's comments to me hold some truth....

Bryant said..."I also believe that these paintings have merit. If Norval had input then it is a mistake to label them fake. But they do have to be classified as to what they really are and values set accordingly. There should be no question that a painting done by the master's hand is much more valuable that one of these questionable pieces. I also believe that Norval intentionally signed these paintings in a way that makes them easily indentifiable." .....

Since a lot of these paintings in question are from the 70's onwards perhaps Norval intentionally signed the back as an identification maker of pieces from this period rather then ones that came directly from his hands. If this is the case Mr Ross is not suggesting that these painting hold no value as a Morrisseau. Has anyone tried to determine from those that painted with Morrisseau at the time if he was signing them or how this all worked? Who were these folks - SInclair Ritchie? Brian Marion?

Anonymous said...

In regards to the comment made about the handwriting on the back of Norvals work from the 70's. I recently procured 30 pieces, all from the 70's and one from 1980. They were all signed,titled and dated with the last two digits of the year. This was a very large purchase for the gallery I am involved with. We had the handwriting analized by the same firm that handles cases for the R.C.M.P. and it was stated that they were indeed signed by Norval himself. It is still, in many ways, buyer beware. This is where information rules and due diligence is a must.

Anonymous said...

Right to above - and to my point raised...maybe Norval did sign them but was not 100% responsible for the entire painting of the picture? This does not mean that they have no value as a morrisseau (as Bryant agreed) but perhaps a different value then one that was painted 100% by Morrisseau himself. This off course is based upon a speculation that Morrisseau had assistant (as an Article in The Star about Norval with comments from Christian suggest that this was the case) and that these paintings were signed differently which I am not claiming as a fact but raising as a thought for more insight on and perhaps those with more knowledge to share their experiences and knowledge - someone must know more then they are telling.

D

Anonymous said...

Why would Bryant Ross want to deflat the secondary market when on his website he clearly states he is wanting to buy paintings from the secondary market? His claim on ebay also said he would have bought ever single painting on ebay if he believed in them demonstrating that this is an individual that is not out to destroy the secondary market. d

Bryant Ross said...

Here is a list of the menbers of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society.

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:

Viviane Gray - Indian and Inuit Art Centre, Dept. of Indian Affairs & Northern Development

Lee Ann Martin - Curator of Contemporary Canadian Aboriginal Art, Museum of Civilization

Elizabeth McLuhan - Dept. of History, University of Winnipeg

Dr. Ruth Philips - Professor of Art History

Greg Hill - Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada

Richard H. Baker - Barrister and Solicitor

They can be contacted at norvalmorrisseauheritage@gmail.com

MISSION STATEMENT

The Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society was established at the request of Norval Morrisseau to research, document and preserve his artistic achievement and protect the integrity of his art. It seeks to achieve this mission by establishing and maintaining a registry of his works, publishing and updating a catalogue raisonne of his artistic output and providing the necessary expertise to authenticate his art.

These people are not paid for their participation.

Anonymous said...

thank you for the list Mr Ross. I did not realize that they authenticated his works. Thamk you again

Anonymous said...

I can give you some real hardcore factual information on how to tell an original Morrisseau from a fake.
First see if your painting has been painted from edge to edge and has no white border to it like a photograph would have.You will see this over the wooden stretcher as the canvas is stapled and overlapped onto the wooden stretcher.Morrisseau always painted from edge to edge of each canvas.Because back in the day he would sell his pieces by the square inch.So therefore he would recieve more money for them if they calculated to a greater square footage.Smart guy.
Look for signs of ageing on the reverse of the canvas and soiling.A painting that is 30 to 40 years old will not display a bleach white appearance to the canvas.Overtime the canvas begins to yellow or become tawny beige in colour.This is natural due to pollution in the air and oxidization.
Ask your self this question "My painting is dated 1977,but the canvas on the reverse is bleach white...looks like it was manufactured a few months ago?" If it looks too new it probably is...you see?
I know that Morrisseau used rather dull matte paint colours for his early works in the 50's,60's and 70's. The 80's stuff was electric in colour so if your piece is dated from the 60's and 70's and has been painted with electric colours of blue,red,green,yellow and so on I would be careful about it's authenticity.There is no clear cut date for the transition from matte acrylics to electric acrylics.Early 80's pieces I have seen are still matte acrylics and not electric in hues which came at a latter date.But I have seen a few examples of pieces dated from the 1970's that are electric in colour.
Look for signs of paint application done by using your finger instead of a brush.Morrisseau was known to paint with his fingers and so the paint is applied with this tell tale characteristic.What artist likes to clean brushes all the time? When it's so easy to dip your finger in a can of paint and go to it for a different colour!
Morrisseau also used HOUSE PAINTS to work with.That would require lab testing and they would look for LEAD content in the sample for this.New paint today is manufactured without lead.The ingestion and exposre to lead has been the bane of many an artist eg.Van Gogh and is probably why Norval Morrisseau is suffering from a Nervous dis-ease like Parkinsons because of his many years of exposure to the chemicals found in the paints he used.
Forensics can also determine the year of the paint manufactured but that would cost big bucks to find out.However it would be definitive proof if your piece dated 1972 was painted with material manufactured in 1989.This would be cause for worry wouldn't you say?
If Morrisseau Titled the piece look for spelling mistakes.He was a bad speller.
Look for contamination in the paint such as bits of dirt,sand,and tobacco embedded in the acrylic paint.
Look for imperfections such as spotting of different colours not associated with the piece.
Morrisseau would stack his finished paintings one on top of the other before allowing them to dry completely and this would sometimes cause smearing and spotting onto the painting stacked below it.
When he signed his signature in English on the reverse look for his name "Norval" painted on an angle to his last name "Morrisseau" and again if he dated the piece that number too would be offset on an angle.Some paintings even have his last name written as MORRISEAU" with only one letter "S" instead of two letter S's.That's because of Jack Pollock mispelling his name back in the 1960's I believe.
Look for that characteristic copyright symbol and how he drew that with a single stroke of his paint brush with out it leaving the canvas in a clock wise manner.
When you see the signature/Title/and or Date on the reverse you will notice that Morrisseau did not dip his brush over and over to complete the signature's letters to clear perfection.He would dip his brush in his can of paint once and trail the brush to complete his name or title giving it the tell tale sign that the brush tip is running dry of paint and the letters or numbers are progressively becoming fainter towards the end of the word or his name.
We all write our caligraphy a certain way.We all write our numbers a certain way.I know how Morrisseau would paint(write) a number 8 and I know how he would paint his letters N,M and S in his name.I can't tell you how this looks unless I show a picture of what I mean.But I will say this he painted his letter N in two ways.
Look for a canvas that is NOT EVENLY cut in it's dimensions.The individual lengths of each side of the piece will be different in measurements;example one side will measure 24 inches and the opposite side will measure at 23 inches and the top and bottom will be different aswell or the same if the piece came off a roll.If your piece has already been stretched and framed this will prove difficult to prove because your framer has already compensated the irregularity in the cut piece of canvas and has compromised for the best fitting that can be achieved for that particular piece onto it's wooden stretcher he is about to make for you.Morrisseau would cut a piece of canvas off a roll and not be too particular with measuring it's accuracy to make a perfect square or rectangle.One can see this obvious sign by looking at a piece that has already been stretched and framed but due to it's irregular cutting by Morrisseau;the framer had no choice but to find a best fit by sacrificing part of Norval's image in the painting.In other words the painting's image is cut off and demonstrates imbalance and constriction you see?

I Hope this helps you folks a little bit and if I can share any other bits of knowledge about this I will let you know.

Kind Regards
eBay Vendor Thunderbear888

I hope this answers some of your questions.Now go to your painting and have a closer look knowing what you have learned.

Anonymous said...

hi Thunderbear888 here,
Norval Morrisseau also painted his images with a Warm to Cold colour wheel scheme.Any violation of this warm to cold sequence in your paintings maybe cause for concern.
He did this to synchronize the colour vibration in the piece so that it would radiate a healing message to the viewer by exposing the person to the colour and it's associative chakra vibration and the result would be a MEDICINE PAINTING...you see?

Light and Color Therapy - Psychological, Biological and Spiritual effects
What is Light Therapy?
Light Therapy involves the application of light for purposes of healing and maintaining optimum health. It is a natural and noninvasive therapy without side effects and is extremely powerful in the field of prevention. Light therapy goes hand in hand with all other forms of holistic health care and can be inexpensively self-administered.
Natural light, containing the full spectrum of its component colors, including UV and infrared, is a basic human nutrient and is necessary for optimum health.
Malillumination is similar to malnutrition in that natural light, with its full spectrum of radiation, including ultraviolet and infrared radiation, is a life-sustaining element and a basic human nutrient. Exposure to natural light is necessary for overall human wellness and longevity. Light therapy treats the effects of “malillumination.”
Artificial Full-Spectrum Light
Natural daylight is a true “white” light, which contains a balance of energy throughout the entire range of the visible spectrum. Full-spectrum lighting is the most accurate reproduction of natural sunlight available.
What is Color Therapy?
Color Therapy (also called chromotherapy or chromatherapy) is the application of color in various ways for purposes of healing and maintaining optimum health. It is a natural and noninvasive therapy without side effects, and is extremely powerful in the field of prevention.
Color therapy is a holistic practice concerned with nourishing and balancing vital life energy and is complementary to all other holistic practices such as homeopathy, yoga, massage therapy, reflexology, chiropractic, acupuncture, Riki, naturopathy, and so on. Color therapy is the fastest growing spa treatment in the United States.
Understanding Color Therapy
To understand color therapy you must understand color. Color therapy is not “voodoo” or magic. Color therapy is based on the understandable scientific principles of light and color and their biological, psychological, and emotional and spiritual effects on human beings.
Selective Absorption
We are able to see individual colors because of a process called selective absorption. All substances, including the human body, selectively absorb only the energies they need from light. The energy that is not needed is reflected from the surface rather than absorbed. It is this reflected portion of light energy that we see as color.
Red is used in Color Therapy when life forces need to be stimulated or renewed. Red is a strong physical stimulant that will help restore vitality, courage and self-confidence. Red activates blood circulation and the sympathetic nervous system. It helps with problems of the sensory nerves - hearing, taste, smell, vision and touch. Red stimulates the metabolism and purification.
Chakra - Muladhara (root/support)
Location - Base of spine. (to feet)
Endocrine Association: Testicles, Ovaries. Secrete hormones that influence male and female characteristics.
Some conditions treated with/ Red light:
Acne in conjunction with Blue
PMS, menstrual and menopausal difficulties
To speed healing of skin and soft tissue after injury, surgery, etc.
Diabetic and other Neuropathy
Fatigue
more…
Orange is used as a stimulant to the emotional center, to bring about a renewed sense of enthusiasm for life and to tap into a greater happiness and joy. It is also a strong creative stimulant providing an opening to inspiration and the energy to bring our visions to reality. In color therapy Orange is used for a variety of breathing and lung problems such as asthma and bronchitis. Orange has an anti-depressant and anti-lethargic effect strengthening the metabolism and promoting health.
Chakra: Swadisthana
Location: Over the spleen
Yellow is a combination of the RED & GREEN rays and therefore is both stimulating and regenerating. Yellow is very advantageous for the nerves and the brain bringing a sharpening of the mental abilities. In Color Therapy it is used for psychological problems like melancholy, depression and world-wariness. Standing for lightness and cheerfulness it enlivens and comforts. Yellow carries additional physical benefits in its effects on the nutritional organs; the liver, intestines, stomach, spleen and bladder. Purification and elimination through the liver, color and skin are promoted by the Yellow ray.
Chakra: Manipura
Location: Solar Plexus
Endocrine Association: Adrenal, Pancreas. Adrenals secrete hormones that influence metabolism, blood chemicals and body characteristics. Influences the part of the nervous system that is involved in the response and defense against stress. Pancreas secretes insulin that controls the use of glucose in the body.
Green symbolizes the harmonic cycles of nature and is the main healing color. It stands for balance, harmony, love, and growth. In color therapy it is used primarily to soothe irritation, bring balance and promote healing and growth. Green is the color of nitrogen which is the main component of our atmosphere and which is integral to the formation of bones, muscles and other tissues. Consequently a Green treatment is excellent for soothing soreness and tired muscles while promoting their regeneration. Green tends to have a very stabilizing, balancing and calming effect of the entire energy system. It is the color of energy, youth, hope, growth and love.
Chakra: Anahata
Location: Heart
Endocrine Association: Thymus - plays a role in the body’s immune system.
Blue is the purest, coolest and deepest color of the spectrum and stands for rest, relaxation, sleep, regeneration and communication. Blue decreases blood pressure and heart rate, dissolves nervousness and stress and has a very calming effect on the entire organism. It is very effective in the treatment of headaches and sleep disorders. Blue is also a highly effective color for meditation, communication, spiritual growth and high mental qualities. Blue will help bring about the expression of one’s creative power while bringing the individual to a state of peace and holistic balance.
Chakra: Visshudha
Location: Throat
Endocrine Association: Thyroid, Parathyroid. Thyroid gland produces hormones that stimulate body heat production, bone growth, and metabolism. Parathyroid gland secretes a hormone that maintains the calcium level in the blood.
Some conditions treated with the color Blue:
Acne
Colic
Insomnia
Jaundice
Anxiety & Panic
many more…..
Indigo like BLUE decreases blood pressure and heart rate, dissolves nervousness and stress and has a very calming effect on the entire organism. It is very effective in the treatment of headaches and sleep disorders/insomnia. Indigo is also a highly effective color for meditation, communication, spiritual growth and higher mental qualities. It controls the psychic energy flow of the extra subtle body through the brow charka (or third eye) and is therefore responsible for all the extra-sensory abilities such as telepathy, premonition and the like. Indigo is the opening to our unconscious selves, our intuition and our relationship to the great mysteries. On the physical, astral and spiritual planes indigo influences vision, hearing and smell. Oftentimes individuals will report their heightened sense of awareness in these areas after an indigo treatment.
Chakra: Ajna
Location: Brow
Endocrine Association: Pituitary, Hypothalamus. Spiritual, often called the Master Gland, produces a number of hormones that influence various other endocrine glands. Hypothalamus activates and controls the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary body functions, the hormonal system, and many body functions, such as regulating sleep and stimulating appetite.
Violet is used in color therapy as a powerful healing energy with strong purification properties. On the physical level it stimulates the spleen and purifies the blood. It is considered an inspiring and spiritual energy. Leonardo da Vinci wrote: The power of meditation can be increased ten times through the application of Violet light. It is excellent for getting in contact with our spiritual / higher selves and advancing ourselves on the path of enlightenment.
Chakra: Sahasrara
Location: Crown
Endocrine Association: Pineal Gland - involved with daily biological cycles.
Turquoise being composed of the Green & Blue rays carries all the calming, balancing and restorative properties associated with those two colors. Turquoise is a excellent treatment for building one’s self-confidence.
Pink is used in color therapy for treating psychological problems like melancholy, depression and world-weariness. It is helpful in these areas due to its ability to instill in the user a sense of being nurtured, loved and made secure. As such it is a powerful building block for helping individuals take those tentative first stops back to a full and healthy interaction with the world at large. Pink energy will also help put individuals in the mind set of sharing with and caring for others. It is a deeply calming and restorative treatment.

With the above understanding of colour we can use this knowledge to help us better comprehend what Norval Morrisseau had accomplished in his paintings and give us the sensitivity as potential collectors in choosing the right painting that we need in our present lives.

Kind Regards
ThunderBear888

Bryant Ross said...

To Thunderbear and everyone else.
I found both of your posting very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
On the authenticity question, I find your guidelines undifinative. I would not rule out a painting because it was too square or too clean.
I have stretched many Morrisseau canvases and lots of them were not square and and most were painted too close to the edge. But he also used prestretched canvases and many times he asked me to cut the canvas roll for him to ensure that the pieces were square.
So I am not disagreeing with you, but I am saying that none of the characteristics that you point out would tell someone for sure that their painting is real.
As to your comments about the signature on the back of paintings dated from the 70s, I would not dispute that it is his signature. It very well may be. It is the painting on the front of these pieces that worries me. An artist like Morrisseau leaves his signature all over his work, in subtle ways of technique, use of color and imagery. When I look at these 70s paintings I don't see it.

Thank you for your synopsis on Color therapy. It is very well done. Color absorbtion and it's effect on people and the enviroment are only recently being studied in the modern acedemic circles. But it is an ancient science.
We call Norval the Color Doctor. I don't think his approach is quite so anilitical, but more of a natural process that he does almost with out thinking about it. He once told me that we should paint all the prisons pink. He thought it would help change the lives of those held within. This fits perfectly into your discription.

Anonymous said...

Thunderbear888,
ebay Vendor

In response to Mr.Bryant Ross's posting I quote a passage from his comment below.

"As to your comments about the signature on the back of paintings dated from the 70s, I would not dispute that it is his signature. It very well may be. It is the painting on the front of these pieces that worries me. An artist like Morrisseau leaves his signature all over his work, in subtle ways of technique, use of color and imagery. When I look at these 70s paintings I don't see it."

I am asking Christian Morrisseau,David Morrisseau,Wolf Morrisseau and/or Eugene Morrisseau to visit my eBay store and all the listings I have for sale as their father's work and please make a comment gentleman as to what you believe in your professional unbiased Opinions as fellow Artists and as Norval Morrisseau's sons about the pieces I am currently selling on eBay.
"Are they genuine or not genuine Norval Morrisseau's?"
I thank you all for your time to do this to satisfy Mr.Bryant Ross's concern as quoted above in this posting.

My ebay store can be easily found at this URL:cut and paste URL in your address bar
http://stores.ebay.com/ThunderBear-Canadian-Art-Gallery_W0QQsspagenameZMEQ3aFQ3aSTQQtZkm

PS:I am ebay vendor Thunderbear888 I am not affiliated with any of the Morrisseau family members.I am an independent vendor.

kind Regards
Thunderbear-Canadian Art Gallery

Anonymous said...

Mr.Ross it is easy to see now why you have always found the early works of Norval Morrisseau so threatening.I have seen the newer pieces of this man's work and I see that the early pieces from the 60's,70's,and 80's to be of superior imagery and quality of work.

Bryant Ross said...

I am not threatened by Morrisseau's earlier work or any thing in the anonymous postings on this blog. My name appears at the top of my postings and my web site is easily found on the web. The web site contains all of my contact information. I am not hiding. If anyone is threatened, it is those that hide in anonymity.
I have a great deal of experience with Norval's work after and including 1987. I have a painting from 1973 in my own personal collection. This painting has provenance directly back to the artist. I have a painting from 1968 for sale in my gallery. This painting also has provenance directly back to the artist. Where is the provenance for these questionable 70s paintings? Why are my credentials so important but none of you anonymous people question the credentials of these 70s paintings. Do any of you want to find out the truth?

Anonymous said...

Thunderbear888
eBay.com Vendor

Mr.Ross,
I Thank you for your feedback, but I am confused as to the meaning in your comment about my paintings I am currently listing on eBay.com.You state that the Signatures and/or Titles/Dates may very well be authentic Norval Morrisseau however you question the imagery painted on the front of my canvases that I have for sale.I am a man of logic and from what you have stated it means that Norval Morrisseau signed/titled and/or dated blank empty canvases and then someone at a latter date and time painted the image that we are seeing on the canvas? This sounds absurd and illogical to my mind.
I too have suffered because of your WARNING COMMENT that showed up on eBay.com early this year. You must be very proud of yourself to willingly interfere with other people's lively hood.You continue to slander eBay.com even on your personal website.
I don't care about your concern for my paintings I have for sale on eBay.com.For me you do not hold the necessary credentials required to make any judgement on my paintings or any one elses work that they wish to sell on ebay.com
My paintings are Appraised by a Certified Member of the ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA-A.D.A.C and this Appraiser also is a Registered member of the Canadian Public Appraisers C.P.A.The Appraiser I use has over 40 years of experience which exceeds your experience in selling Norval Morrisseu's art and exposure along with all the other brilliant WoodLand Artists past,and present which he has dealt with.In your WARNING COMMENT you also state slanderously and blatantly that my Appraisal documents have been forged.Since my Appraiser is registered with A.D.A.C the C.P.A then you are slandering these two organizations with incompetence.
That is illogical and absurd.
The Appraiser I use also has an active and lucritive Art Gallery in Toronto,Ontario.
If anyone is interested in finding out who the Appraiser I use and his location for you to bring your Morrisseau's for appraisal can give me a skypecall at my skype ID-michaelrockefellor and I can disclose that information to you.
Appraisals are not cheap and will run $300.00 to $500.00 for this work to be done and is highly advisable.

Bryant Ross said...

What I am saying is that my own theory, and it is just a theory at this point, is that someone else painted these paintings, possiblly under Morrisseau's guidance, and that he signed them. I do not believe that he would sign blank canvases. There are people that were involved with this time in Norval's career. If they can speak the truth then they should stand up and be heard.
Here is a quote from the article by Val Ross in the Toronto Globe and Mail, Feb 9th 2007.
"What ADAC usually stands for is the Art Dealers Association of Canada; its president, Patricia Feheley, is appalled to see her 0rganization cited as endorsing the
sale of dodgy goods. "I have never been so angry as now, at seeing ADAC's name so blatantly plastered on something which the artist says is not authentic," she said last week"
Further in the article speaking of the Norval Morrisseau Heritage Society is "Feheley has advised eBay that the real ADAC only
stands behind those paintings endorsed by the committee."

Anonymous said...

great blog. thanks to the master.
this is my first entry here.

a few quick points, I'm not on anyones side here, I have also never personally met any of the people who have posted here.
I have however followed this masters work for some 3 decades.
Although this does not make me an absolute authority,I do know what I would, and would not buy.

The problem with art, and forgeries in general is that most people LOOK at art, but don't really SEE the art.
yes they see the object, but not what it takes to make it so.

Simply compare well documented works from a specific time,to what you are buying from the same period.
is the subject matter,style and colors chosen the same?
if you can't see the dif in the artistic professionalism and execution, perhaps art is not a field you should be investing time or money in. ( please don't send me pics to review)

I think we can all agree that Norval painted the good, the bad, and the very,very ugly.
I'm certain that even Norval would not be able to identify all of his own works.
the point is that there are a large number of works which were done in part by Norval, and many more which were not at all.
Andy Warhol had a similar issue surrounding his works, as a result a commitee was formed and all of his works were properly authenticated. the result, buyers today can have peace of mind when they purchase Warhol works.
this is now happening to Norval's work.
there is always controversy in art,it's partly what makes it art regardless of it's form.
there are many valid points and questions asked in this blog, and that's good. there is also much slander. not so good. I understand passions run deep.

As for the N.M.H.F members, I don't think anyone can question the credentials or motives of these people, they are all accomplished professionals.
Along with Norval and others, these people should be able to identify most works.
as for the rest, it will be buyer beware.
I'm sure there are countless authentic Morrisseau's which will suface over the years to come,but for me,I would not purchase any work, from any source if the work has no history?
for me the only proof is a direct, confirmable link to the artist.

Norval's well documented works will always attract the most attention and dollars from art lovers, collectors and investors, the question is, what about the rest?
all of works which Morrisseau assisted have value, the question is how do we classify and value the works which are not 100% Morrisseau?
in the end, History will remember Morrisseau as a master of our times, his true works recorded for future generations to admire for eternity.

Anonymous said...

ThunderBear888
eBay Vendor

"My paintings are Appraised by a Certified Member of the ART DEALERS ASSOCIATION OF CANADA-A.D.A.C and this Appraiser also is a Registered member of the Canadian Public Appraisers C.P.A."

Mr.Ross please read the above I too am a firm believer in what Ms.Feheley had said about "doggy goods" that's why I have always gone to A.D.A.C.Thank You

Anonymous said...

I raised the question earlier regarding the truth around Norval having assistants working with him. Mr. Ross responded (above) saying he too believes this could have been true and he would not discredit these paintings. DOES ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THIS.

I think time should be spend more on investigating things like this rather then going back and forward with you said/I said that really is not getting us anywhere.

I do see it as a very possible fact that Morrisseau created the image, had assistants complete the painting and then Morrisseau would sign each (perhaps differently then how he would sign one directly from his hand).

D - Toronto

Anonymous said...

The Toronto Star - May 2007
Article - Painter Continues Family Tradition by Peter Goddard
RE: Christian Morrisseau

Some insight shared here regarding Norval having assistance with his paintings.

....Yet his father's return to the family home in Red Lake, near Thunder Bay, in 1990 prompted Christian to pick up a brush for the first time to do background work for his father.

"The next time was in May 2002," Morrisseau tells me. "We heard he was sick where he was living in Nanaimo (B.C.), so we brought him back home. He gave my brothers and me some paper to use. He sat us all down and started talking about his art and the art market.

"He said, `I have painted for a good many years and in all of that time there have been strangers sitting opposite me. I have always wondered why it was never one of my own children.' ....

INTERESTING

D

Spirit Walker said...

Due to the fact that Norval Morrisseau had ability to draw spontaneously, never lifting his pencil from the paper until an image was complete and due to the fact that he applied the same technique while painting (Pablo Picasso had it) it would be almost impossible that someone can create so much Great art that is attributid to Norval Morrisseau if Morrisseau really didn't do it.

Why would someone create mesterpieces attributed to Norval Morrisseau and not try to make name for himself/herself?

I my opinion all the stories about fakes are just to give some galleries "advantage" when selling Norval Morrisseau works.

If I had a venue for showing the public what I know everyone would be able to see that the best signature of Norval Morrisseau lays in paint application on the face of the canvas/paper and not in the way pieces of art are were signed. Of course that signature(s)is/are also important but not as important as the painting technique.

As Jack Pollock said: "...Norval, with his incredible ability with the formal problems of art (colour-design-space) and his commitment to the world of his people, the great Ojibway, give one the sense of power that only genius provides... It is sufficient to say that in the history of Canadian Painting, few have, and will remain giants. Norval shall."

- If someone wants to challenge me by sending me images of the front and of the back of the piece(s) of art you have in your collection(s) I am available at spiritwalker2008@gmail.com or at "Skype" (user name spiritwalker2008).

Thank you for your attention.

Spirit Walker said...

People can write and say whatever they want but there is always going to be the only one Norval Morrisseau.

The same way that Louis Armstrong and Miles Davies played an instrument called trumpet nobody else has been able to reach those levels of artistry.

The same way future generations of mankind are going to study and admire music of Louis Armstrong & Miles Davies the Art of Norval Morrisseau will be studied and admired by the countless generations of Canadians and other humans.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone out there submitted photo's of a 1970 Morrisseau signed on the front and signed, dated and titled on the back to the NMHS? If so, what was their feedback? It would be interested to hear their take and how they plan on authenticating his work.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't count on getting a reply from NMHF. These are serious academics who are unlikely to participate in these forums
(sad but true)
they will document all works submitted, and as a general rule will only publish a catalogue raisonné once it is considered complete, usually excluding the works considered not to be authentic.
I would be very intrested in seeing ALL of the works which were submitted for authentication.
At present, there is no info available to the general public regarding the works submitted to date.
I would expect this research to continue for quite some time.

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding that the commitee members of the so called norval morrisseau heritage society have had five out of their six members drop out?

Viviane Gray - Indian and Inuit Art Centre, Dept. of Indian Affairs & Northern Development

Lee Ann Martin - Curator of Contemporary Canadian Aboriginal Art, Museum of Civilization

Elizabeth McLuhan - Dept. of History, University of Winnipeg

Dr. Ruth Philips - Professor of Art History

Greg Hill - Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, National Gallery of Canada

Richard H. Baker - Barrister and Solicitor

I believe that this commitee was actually asking a gangster like gabe vadas who has no formal education to speak of what he thinks is real or not real! lol Afterwards I believe that these members of the committee dropped out when they realized that gabe was forging his own paintings and signing them himself as Norval Morrisseau genuine pieces.I do not doubt the efficacy of this group nor blame anyone of them for wrong doing unless they have a monetary issue behind their involvments with the committee which would make their judgements suspicious.I can certainly understand why they would wish to leave the NMHS.
Shame...
"where's the DISK gabe you said you had when you were at the McMichael Art Gallery in Klienberg Ontario before an audience?"

bryant Ross said...

Dec 4, 2007
Norval Morrisseau passed away this morning in a Toronto Hospial.
There will be a press release later today.

Anonymous said...

Bryant - for the all the disagreeing that goes on and the back and forth of points of views - I presonally wanted to take this opportunity to pass on my condolences to you as it sounds like you and Norval had a special friendship. My condolences to his family and all other associates as well.
d

Anonymous said...

I believe that a lot of the paintings that Coughlant Art is selling are questionable.They seem to be cheap looking and not of the same calibre and quality as you might find with the older stuff Morrisseau had painted.

Anonymous said...

paintings are like fingerprints.
you can imitate, but not duplicate the flow of a master.
this will most likely be one of the key techniques used to authenticate unknown works.
the biggest sign of a questionable work could be the "flat" surface of the paint.

My thoughts go out to the whole Morrisseau family during this very sad time.
the Morrisseau legacy will always remain... and continue.

Mysticguru said...

Wow, lots of trash talk going on here.
after spending much time reading the various posts ,a number of things come to mind.
Norval most certainly signed many works which he did not create, the answer to the questions regarding authenticity is ALL in the signature, it's style and location.
I believe that authentic works can be found at smaller galleries and perhaps even on Ebay, but I would proceed with much caution.
I would also like to point out that in all of my time as a follower of Norval's work, I have never heard negative remarks made regarding Mr Ross from the legitamate art community.
It is my belief that the question regarding the ownership of the remaining body of Norval's work
(currently in Gabe's possession)will be tied up in legal wrangling for years to come.
There should be no doubt that without Gabe's assistance over the years, Norval would have passed many years ago.Is Gabe entitled to the vast body of Norval's work?
I don't think so, certainly he should be compensated for his efforts and rewarded with some of the work's, but the body of works should go to the Morrisseau family, they are the Morrisseau legacy. Although Norval chose to leave his family behind decades ago, this does not mean that he didn't care for them, his thoughts were often with his children.
over the years I have seen many purchase works which they "know" are by the master, these and many other are now in a desperate battle to convince others that the works which they aquired as a "bargain" are now worth $$$$
sorry,not so.
as the post above mentioned," a painting is like a fingerprint"
To Christian, I know you monitor this blog,and I leave you with the following thoughts, "pursue not with anger or for vengance, but with integrety and clear thought to preserve the legacy known as Morrisseau,your father was a master, and as such will remain an icon in the history of art"
it is all about family, your family.