Friday, February 29, 2008

Norval Morrisseau's "Twins" (Part I)

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"MISHIPISHU AND THE SPIRITS", 1981
/Click on image to enlarge/
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Both of these paintings in my opinion originate from the same painting session* of Norval Morrisseau. The one on the left is as per book "Norval Morrisseau Travels to the House of Invention" titled "Mishipishu and the Spirits" (size: 51"x46", dated 1981). The one on the right is "Untitled" (size: 39"x44", dated 1981) and is from Spirit Walker's private collection.
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It is interesting to mention that painting in the book "Norval Morrisseau travels to the House of Invention" (page 115) is oriented incorrectly (rotated 90 deg. CW). For the publisher it was not easy to determine proper orientation due to the fact that Norval Morrisseau signed the painting in syllabics in the top right corner that could have been oriented in two possible ways. The painting on the right was signed in the way that is clear what was proper orientation of the painting even it was very clear that composition has much stronger effect if oriented as presented here.
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As I stated earlier in one of the comments: "Norval repeated his images many times". This particular example involves two paintings quite possibly painted at the same time. I have also an example where he painted two almost identical images thirteen years apart...
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Spirit Walker
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* - It was very well known fact that Norval Morrisseau would sometimes use several canvases of the same or different sizes and paint variations of the same theme until completing painting all of the canvases. Sometimes he would title them and sometimes he wouldn't. I am positive that if both paintings came from the same painting session that the one on the top left has his signature in English with copyright symbol in the same way that painting on the top right has which is in collection of Spirit Walker.
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> The image of the painting in this posting (Top left): "Mishipishu and the Spirits", 51"x46", © 1981 Norval Morrisseau published in book "Norval Morrisseau Travels to the House of Invention"; ISBN 1-55013-880-4; Painting (Top right): "Untitled", 39"x44", © 1981 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/ <

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Spirit Walker for presenting the case herein...

Bryant Ross has directed to you the following:

"Also I have never known of Morrisseau copying his own images. Why would he? To copy the Thunderbird so exactly in composition he would have had to have a picture of it in front of him. This sounds some what ridiculous to me.
I know that people want answers, not more questions. I do not want to always be negative. May be if more well documented authentic paintings were posted on this blog I could be more positive. "Private Collection" does not cut it."

I am asking Bryant Ross who to believe... to him or to Spirit Walker.

Also, how can Spirit Walker present well documented authentic paintings when there is nobody autorized to autheticate Norval Morrisseau paintings - not even NMHS?

Anonymous said...

perhaps a look at the back of both works would reveal...
is anyone aware what the back of the documented work above looks like?
could spirit walker post the back of his?

Anonymous said...

could someone, anyone, please show us just one well documented, well published, undisputed work by Morrisseau that is signed on the back in black paint?
the way 1000s of works in the market with no provenance are.
I think this will answer the question most are asking?
we are wasting everyones time by arguing "he said, they said"
LOOK at the back of the paintings. IT RIGHT THERE FOR THE WORLD TO SEE
but only if you really want to see the truth. I woulld suspect this posting will not greet the viewers of this blog, simply because it does answer the big question asked by many.

Spirit Walker said...

I am affraid that for the photo of the back you have to wait until the end of the next week.

Speaking about fake vs. authentic "Could someone, anyone, please show us just one well documented, well published, disputed work by Morrisseau that is signed on the back in black paint?"

Anonymous said...

to Mr SpiritWalker and blog

I will give all viewers the details they need to decide issues for themselves what is real, I will post the truth, this Sunday night. 6-8 pm
only if the blog is left "open" at that time, I will post what I know, but only if the blog is open, as I want all to see, and no one to delete or edit. I await for this post to appear, and I will be back Sunday night.
"regards till the truth comes out"

Anonymous said...

Thank you - I look forward to seeing this on Monday morning. If it is deleted or editted - huge questions will arise. I hope as well you can provide some insight in to your knowledge to help build some creditabilty to your comments.

Anonymous said...

How come the book Art of Norval Morrisseau is full of pictures that are identical in style/quality to the painting on the left and no images are included that are of the same style or quality of the one Spirit Walker painted?

Perhaps I am wrong but from recollection of this book (which I do not have in my possession anymore) they ALL resemble paintings on the right and this book does cover paintings done in the 70's - the time frame in question.

Spirit Walker said...

I am not obliged to post anything if it is not appropriate. Also, I am not going to edit anything. If you do not believe me by now you are visiting a wrong Blog...

And speaking about that "huge questions will arise"... remains to be seen... :-)

"Art of Norval Morrisseau lives forever"

Bryant Ross said...

I have made some inquiries about the painting posted above on the left. I have been told that there is no title, signature or date in black paint on the back.

Spirit Walker said...

In the book "Norval Morrisseau Travels to the House of Invention" the title was given: "Mishipishu and the Spirits" and it was dated 1981.

My painting is dated 1981 and that is not coincidence.

I do not believe that your information is correct...

Bryant Ross said...

Did you obtain your painting in 1981. You have already stated that you began collecting 9 years ago. Did I get this wrong, because the book you mention came out eleven years ago.
So I would ask, Where was this painting before the book was published?

Spirit Walker said...

I agree that provenance is important but "feel" of the piece in question and paint application particularily brush strokes are the best signature of Norval Morrisseau.

The same way that many people are very good trumpet players but only few were able to reach the heights of performance of Luis Armstrong and Miles Davis.

Norval is the only one and nobody came even close to paint like him. Even if they can copy his art the spiritual power of the painting would not be able to radiate from it.

Brush strokes - the best signature of Norval Morrisseau cannot be replicated by anyone especially not for the pieces painted from from the late 1950s to the beginning of 1990s. Let us not even mention the colour combinations and use of empty space.

In my opinion discussion about non authentic pieces of Norval Morrisseau was blown out of proportions due to the fabrication stories of countless Norval Morrisseau's forgeries that nobody ever brought to light. Not even one example of non authentic Norval Morrisseau painting was ever presented anywhere particularily not of those of the style of the "questionable paintings from the 1970's" that are represented in large number as illustration for the postings of the NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG.

Anonymous said...

They show up in large numbers on this blog but to make a point again not one of them is included in the Art of Norval Morrisseau book. I find this interesting and question why not one of them has been pictured when this book includes many examples of work from the 1970's?

Anonymous said...

just another bad, pathetic copy. i guess the forger bought the book and painted the copy from. he didn't see the original that for sure

Anonymous said...

Spirit Walker - hard to believe you think that 'feel' justifies this as a Morrisseau. I am not an expert in his work but your 'feel' is very different then my 'feel'. A 'feeling' about a piece does replace provenance. Their are master painters and masters who forge them - that is part of the scam and what suckers people to buy forged paintings. Is it impossible for someone else to apply paint in the manner that norval did? Likely not - what is harder is to achieve his artistic style that is present in the painting on the left and not present in the painting on the right. If you have the 'feel' for this painting then good for you and you should enjoy it for what it is.

Spirit Walker said...

This painting is signed and dated by the artist on the reverse side.

I know that does not mean much to many but when details of his signatures by the experts start coming out that public can see I will present it here.

Thanks.