Thursday, April 10, 2008

Words of Genius XII

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"My people believe the earth to be their mother and that we are children of the earth. In spirit we are one with our environment."
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Norval Morrisseau
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* The painting in this posting: "Artist with Thunderbird", 55"x38", © 1976 Norval Morrisseau /Private Collection/

23 comments:

Spirit Walker said...

To all, due to the fact that I am a Blog Master and that I am the only one working on this Blog - every detail and proper presentation takes time. It seems to me that all of you have not much choice than to wait for my detailed explanations.

At the moment nobody on Mother Earth is authorized to authenticate Norval Morrisseau’s works and do not expect from me to do that so soon. I can only educate readers of this Blog what to look for when buying Norval Morrisseau art... unfortunately there are individuals that would like to discredit authentic pieces of Norval Morrisseau particularly from the 1970s for their personal financial goals. It is a shame that these people do not have any respect for the Legacy of Norval Morrissaeu and they only have their personal agenda based on greed. I am not in any ways associated with any commercial galleries that sell Norval Morrisseau art and if someone is willing to assist me to spread the “Gospel of Norval Morrisseau” to the World they are all welcome to join me.

Is there anyone else who would like to contribute? If not, just wait for me for the presentation in my own "timely" terms.

Is anybody there who can challenge/assist me with other means than just using words? Images... I want images to be presented to me? :-)

Meegwetch.

Note: For all of those that are constantly putting down images that Norval Morrisseau painted in the 1970s of the style that many of the paintings presented in this Blog represent know that Norval Morrisseau was a such genius and did not paint only a certain style in any period of his career. He painted many styles at any given moments. Just stay tuned to this Blog and allow me the time to prepare material for proper presentation… patience my friends… patience… as Norval Morrisseau said himself: "Patience is virtue to those who can wait."

Also, do not be surprised if your comment is not posted if you use disrespectful worlds towards legitimate artworks of Norval Morrisseau. If you would like me to prove that certain piece of art is authentic why don't you prove to me and others that certain piece of Norval Morrisseau is not authentic? So far nobody from the readers proved anything towards finding the answers on so-called "controversial issues" which in my opinion are not controversial at all.

Anonymous said...

Eric asks

SW. how can anyone prove these works authentic or not? you or the owner of the work provide no details?
since we only have a picture,
all people can do is to say that it does/does not look authentic.
again I have to state that in this situation it is the obligation of the owner to tell people how and why it is authentic.
we don't seem to be making any headway in this discussion which is why the frustraion has perhaps caused many to stop posting here?

you also state that others are discrediting these for their own personal gain? how?
the fact that you have paintings does not affect anyone if they are real or not ? how do you come to this conclusion? your paintings have NO affect on the financial gain of anyone? how does discrediting your works help profit someone else?
this make NO sense?
please explain and post this in full, or I too will stop posting here.

Anonymous said...

Eric asks

if no one can authenticate, I have to ask you.... how can you be sure all of your works are authentic?

thanks
Eric

Anonymous said...

I am very interested in this topic. I will say this - your challenge " why don't you prove to me and others that certain piece of Norval Morrisseau is not authentic?" is a well known dilemma used in court. The problem is: How do you disprove a negative? This all goes to Provenance.

There are hundreds of pictures of Norval Morrisseau painting or holding his painting or at an exhibit of of his works: How come there are no pictures of him holding or paintings such pieces in the style of these dsputed 70s pieces? A picture of Norval in a wheelchair, sitting in a room with one similar painting is not evidence that he painted it. I woud be more convinced of that painting being evidence of this style being done by Norval if there was evidence that one was authentic itself. Where was that manitoulin picture taken? Who owns that painting? Where did they get it and what is the Provenence? How do we know that Gabe or Norval didn't make a comment about that piece of art not being genuine to the owners or to the institution they were visiting? How come thse paintings seem to have appeared out of thin air?

Anonymous said...

The unfortunate thing for you is that you are wrong. The NMHS exists today as body created to authenticate Norval Morrisseau's body of art work with the creation of a catalogue. This is a team of highly recognized and respected individuals with no monetary gain from the work that they are conducting. Like it or not they have been given authorization by Norval when he was a live to conduct their work and are at arms lenght as well from any commercial gallery.

Educate readers what to look for (by the way..have not seen too many entries on this topic by you) but the fact remains documentation on the painting is key and without provenance you have a problem. This is known in the world of collecting art but you have neglected to mention this is a key element to look for when buying.

Bogus Myth Slayer said...

Spirit Walker,

I am sure your heart is in the right place, you have done a lot of hard work, but look at the facts, the majority of paintings you are showing are not documented anywhere. There are:

-no Pollock labels,
-no photos of Norval painting them,
-no exhibition catalogues including them.

No provenance for too many paintings. In short, there is your proof they are most likely not Morrisseaus. The proof is in the lack of proof! (as stated above)

Norval did lots of paintings... yes. Did he do those ones... they show up no where with Norval in the '70s, 80s or 90s, between then and now what happened to them and why thousands released now?

Are they from the'70s? Are they Morrisseaus?

The art world does require proof positive, to give credence, and for good reason!

There are many who love Morrisseau, some who even pay him the greatest honor, they paint in the woodlands style. They follow a now proud tradition.

But what if one or more faulter... succumbing to vanity and greed they think theirs is good enough to hold the Morrisseau name?

There are hundreds of artists who work, or have worked in this style, this is not an unlikely senario!

May the true Morrisseaus live on.

BMS

Anonymous said...

I just have to make a comment here to the individuals that are trashing the blog master, Spirit Walker. This individual is doing a great job here. To address the topic of how discrediting others paintings on here helps others financially gain.Easy. If enough dealers and collectors hold hands so to speak and trash paintings that lowers the value of the ones in question, and raises the dealers pieces. Ive personally witnessed dealers and collectors trash other works just to keep collectors scared to buy from anyone else. Truth of the matter is, Jack Pollack and these other dealers are not the only people to own a original Morrisseau. And chances are not many people do have photos of Norval paining a piece they own. That would show me that they photographed Norval painting a certain piece they aquired only to use it one day for financial gain.
Not much provenence does exist these days. I have heard Kinsman Robinson put provenece with a piece that was not true. I know this because I was the original owner of the one painting they sold. But they doctored up a story and sold it for a fortune. Everyone wishes they had fantastic provenece with each painting. They wish that they has a photo of Norval sitting with them painting the paintings they personally own. But the hard fact is most of the time Morrisseau was homeless. So Im guessing that there are alot of paintings out there that have never seen the light of day. It does't mean they are fake. Just that they were never seen yet. And lastly, most dealers will say everything is fake that they don't own, Mr. Ross, until you get it in your hands. Then its real.
Just a thought, Im sure this will get some attention on this blog. Its about time someone on here says it the way it is.
Keep up the great work Spirit Walker, and don't let the critics get you down. Remember on a rose bush there are always more thorns than roses. But the roses always rise to the top of the bush.

Anonymous said...

Interesting points raised above. I too believe there are paintings that went from the artist directly to the owner but these paintings do hold value but only if they are geniune paintings of a certain quality and style. The point being made is not that you do not need a picture of Morrisseau actually painting the painting you own. The point is why is there no documented pictures or videos or prints that resemble the paintings in question here. That raises some serious concerns particularly when not one of them can be traced back to the artist or even the previous owner who actually purchased it from Morrisseau.

The other point you touch on is one that showed up in another blog about Morrisseau but then went unanswered. With reputable galleries all playing in the secondary market why is that if a gallery representing Morrisseau purchases from the secondary market (and only provides provenance of Private Collector - THunder Bay to the purchaser)this painting is automatically given creditablity where as if I purchase it directly from the same owner I would have a very large hill to climb to prove that it is original.

All that said - the fact remains that their is quality of geniune paintings that are similar to paintings documented everywhere and their is a quality of questionable paintings with no provenance and not found documented anywhere. This is the battle that the owners of these paintings will continue to face...

Anonymous said...

No one is suggesting that there needs to be a picture of Morrisseau painting a particular painting. But a particular "STYLE" of painting. The fact is that nobody has any photographic evidence of Morrisseau with this STYLE of painting. Not from exhibits during his lifetime. Not from his studio. Not in his home or with any of his friends.

The disputed paintings are all a particular STYLE. Hence, the questions. I think it's fair to question since the Morrisseau reps are insisting these are not by his hand.

Anonymous said...

Not just his reps but also Norval himself!

I know of an individual that worked closely with him in BC for a few years prior to his passing. This individual was very clear that it was Norval that insisted on the fakes and it was Norval that easily pointed out the ones he never painted right to the end. This individual has no connection to a gallery what so ever.

Anonymous said...

There actually is what appears to be a confirmation that Norval painted this "disputed" 70s style: Norval himself donated a painting dated 1978 titled Circle of Four to Canada's Senate. This painting is identical in style to these 70s paintings being disputed. This bolsters the argument that these may in fact be real. But it still beckons the question: Why not photos of Norval anywhere near these kind of pieces during an exhibit in the 70s? Are there no pictures of him from the 70s dong exhibits? Who was representing him in the 70s?

Anonymous said...

Is it a known fact that this painting (pictured elsewhere in this blog) was presented to the Senate by Morrisseau? Where did this information come from and can it be confirmed because else where in this blog is asking why the Senate would have PURCHASED this piece if it was fake(which started a debate).

AP

Anonymous said...

Webpage of Senate:
http://www2.parl.gc.ca/ParlLigner/Highlighter.aspx?Query=Norval+Morrisseau&lang=e&url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.parl.gc.ca%2finformation%2fabout%2fprocess%2fsenate%2fAboriginal%2f14-e.htm

Photo of the painting in the Senate Committee Room:

http://www.parl.gc.ca/information/about/process/senate/Aboriginal/Aboriginal-e.htm

Anonymous said...

That painting hangs in the Aboriginal People's Committee Room in Parliament’s Centre Block. It hangs in the centre of the room behind the committee chair seat. This can be viewed online.

Anonymous said...

Thanks but does not say if this was gift from Norval to the Senate or if it was purchased by the Senate. Anyone have an answer to this question....

AP

Anonymous said...

The link provided above provides the following information....

"The Senate is grateful to the Canadiana Fund for the loan of these works of Aboriginal art donated by the Honourable Serge Joyal, Senator, P.C., O.C., to the Crown Collection for Official Residences. Established in 1990, the Canadiana Fund enhances Canada’s seven official residences, as well as the Parliament Buildings, through donations and loans of historical furnishings, paintings and objets d’art."

This would suggest that the Morrisseau displayed was not actually a gift from Norval. It would suggest it is the gift of Hon. Serge Joyal to the Canadiana Fund.

Anonymous said...

Further information from the website of Hon S Joyal stating the painting was donated by him in 19999 (see gallery). If Norval had donated it to the senate this would be an interesting fact but it is clear he did not.

http://www.sen.parl.gc.ca/sjoyal/e/index.html

Little Thunderbird said...

Let me get this straight:

Norval and his representation have been claiming for the last few years, rather publically, that there are a significant number of fraudulant paintings being sold in the secondary market - all purported to be from the seventies - and near his death, hundreds of these make their way into the public domain - and nobody has any evidene of where these came from and there is no historical evidence linking Mr. Morrisseau to any ONE of these paintings - and there is some manner of conspiracy by these representatives in order to control the Morrisseau art market?

Gentleman, this is either the most ludicrous theory or the greatest Canadian art scandal uncovered. I read all the commentary with great interest and look forward to more of the debate.

Robert (with a very small "t") Thunderbird

Anonymous said...

"whatsreal" asks
what will happen to these works when the Morrisseau catalogue comes out?
if compared to previous artists who have suffered similar issues in the past all of these works become "unsaleable"
no one will dare buy any of these? am I mistaken or will the catalogue end this debate?
thanks

Anonymous said...

Who better to do a catalogue other than the morrisseau family. They themselves have nothing to gain in authenticating their fathers work. When you hear christian describe his fathers work it is almost like listening to Norval himself. I dont think anybody knows the works better.

Anonymous said...

the question was not who should...
but rather what will happen to all of these works?
why is it so hard to get an answer to a question on this blog?
it always gets turned into something else?

Anonymous said...

Someone please correct this statement if untrue - I am not sure if I read it in "The Morrisseau Papers" or in Jack Pollock's "Letters to M" book but if I recall correctly the painting in the senate was not purchased from Norval directly but from the secondary market - the point of this in the book was that it was effectively an affront to Norval since the canadian government didn't have the decency to give Norval the money - just ripping off another Indian - the government of canada's standard operating procedure - business as usual.

signed: the devil's in the details

Anonymous said...

The Morrisseau in the Senate, as stated earlier in this blog with links to website, was not purchased by the Governement. The painting was owned and purchased by a member of Senate who gifted it to hang in the Senate.

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