Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Morrisseau History Detective Stories (Part II)

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Gatherings: Aboriginal Art from the Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery shown in Taipei
(September - October 2003)-

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The image on a poster, "Astral Plain Scouts", acrylic on canvas
© 1976 Norval Morrisseau /Winnipeg Art Gallery Collection/
Click on image to enlarge

原生與創生-加拿大原住民藝術家作品展 
Gatherings: Aboriginal Art from the Collection ofThe Winnipeg Art Gallery
 
本項展覽來自加拿大溫尼伯美術館,介紹加拿大自七○年代至今原住民藝術的發展。七○年代,原住民藝術家運用西洋現代藝術手法創作,結合藝術家個人心志與口述歷史故事,隱喻在作品中,開始獲得非原住民藝術團體的矚目;八○年代,經過藝術學院訓練的原住民藝術家,改以拼貼、攝影、綜合媒材、裝置藝術創作,一開始他們的創作因為不符合一般人觀念裡的「原住民藝術」,甚少公開展出,然而,經過鍥而不捨地發展,漸為標榜西洋現代藝術的文化機構所接受;九○年代的原住民藝術家,有較多機會完成專業學位及參加展出,以保存原住民藝術為宗旨的大型藝術機構相繼成立,藝術家的發展又進入另一個階段,他們運用當代藝術表現手法,表現文化雜交、地域性色彩以及自我認同等主題。
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The people of Taiwan recently gained a spectacular glimpse into Canada's cultural diversity, creativity, and history through the well-received exhibition of Gatherings: Aboriginal Art from the Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, at Taiwan's National Museum of History, during September and October, 2003. Associated events and extensive media coverage ensured Gatherings highlighted the rich and growing relations between aboriginal peoples in Canada and Taiwan. Gatherings, curated by Catherine Mattes, is a small but strong exhibition drawn from the Winnipeg Art Gallery's collection. It highlights three distinct periods of transition in contemporary Canadian aboriginal art since the 1960s, when the Winnipeg Art Gallery led the way in bringing these works into mainstream Canadian cultural institutions. Ranging from the dramatic paintings by Norval Morrisseau of the Woodland School, to more recent experimental installation art such the video/installation piece "Buffalo Bone China" by Dana Claxton and the photographic art of Rosalie Favell, Gatherings demonstrates amply the dynamic and modern diversity which has brought aboriginal art to Canada's centre stage.
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Upon the opening ceremony within National Museum of History
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Gatherings opened with a press conference and reception attended by friends and partners from the museum and cultural community, the aboriginal community, senior Taiwan officials responsible for aboriginal affairs, members from Canada's Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the media where they enjoyed traditional delicacies catered by a Taiwanese aboriginal company. Also on hand for the opening was Métis artist Favell, whose photographic art is featured in Gatherings. Accompanied by Jasmina Vlaović, WAG's Director of Museum Services and Collections, she delivered a well-attended lecture at the National Taipei University of the Arts, spoke at the opening reception, and presented a two-hour retrospective of her work at the National Museum of History the following day.
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Taken in front of the outdoor banner (National Museum of History)(from left to right: Carey Archibald & Jasmina Vlaović from WAG, Chloe Chen and Weldon Epp from Canadian Trade Office, Rosalie Favell, artist and Huang Huichi, Curator of National Museum of History)
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Gatherings provided an excellent and vivid backdrop to celebrate the existing Memorandum of Understanding between Canada and Taiwan in support of developing relations between aboriginal peoples which has now been in place for the past five years. A delegation of Canadian parliamentarians, led by Hon. Judi Longfield, were able to visit the exhibition while on a Taiwanese government sponsored visit, reinforcing the positive and constructive elements of a challenging relationship that does not include diplomatic recognition. Together, both Elijah Harper and Dr. Kung Wen-chi, Chairman of the Council for Indigenous Peoples of the Taipei City Government, toured the Gatherings exhibit. Harper, a regular visitor to Taiwan and a major contributor, as is Dr. Kung, to the momentum of growing Canadian-Taiwan Aboriginal ties, provided uniquely personal insight into the exhibition as he personally knows - or is closely related to - a majority of Gatherings' featured artists.
-Extensive mainstream Mandarin and English print and television media coverage of Gatherings ensured that the exhibition was well attended. Both Vlaović and Favell fielded numerous print, TV, and radio interviews while in Taiwan, offering insight into the development of contemporary aboriginal artistic expression within Canada. Both were also interviewed for Spirit magazine of Toronto and CBC radio has subsequently reported on the exhibition.-
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From left to right, Dr. Kung Wen-chi, Commissioner of Taipei Indigenous Peoples Commission, Elijah Harper, former Canadian MP, Weldon Epp, General Relations Director, CTOT, Jeff Ge, Exhibition Director, national Museum of History
 
The National Museum of History (not to be confused with Taiwan's National Palace Museum) is one of Taiwan's most-visited public institutions, with an average of more than 600,000 visitors annually (or as Winnipeg Art Gallery's Vlaović observed, roughly the entire population of Winnipeg every year), and active programming for Taipei-area schools. The Museum has previously hosted exhibits from Toronto's Bata Shoe Museum and the National Museum of Civilisation, and had taken the initiative to bring Gatherings to Taiwan. As Museum Director and established artist Huang Kuang-nan concluded, while hosting a wrap-up luncheon, the success of Gatherings guarantees that his Museum's appetite for future cooperation with Canadian institution continues to grow.

Jointly organised by the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Taiwan's National Museum of History and the Canadian Trade Office in Taipei, Gatherings received strong support from Taiwan's Council for Indigenous Peoples (CIP), Taipei City's Council for Indigenous Peoples, and EVA Airlines. Through all these partnerships and the creative energies of the featured Canadian artists, Gatherings allowed thousands of Taiwanese to experience this diversity and broaden their experience of Canada's First Nations well beyond existing stereotypes.
 
* The painting on the poster for the "Gatherings": "Astral Plain Scouts", size not known, © 1976 Norval Morrisseau /Winnipeg Art Gallery Collection - Gift of Dr. Louis Cogan/

25 comments:

Spirit Walker said...

To all of the readers of this blog: Few of you have questioned me about providing any "proofs" that the paintings from the 1970s, presented herein have been authentic,and criticized me since November 12th, 2007. You have said that I haven't provided any proofs at all to the above statement and questioning me if there is anything to be presented by me at all in it's regards.

Also, some state: "There is evidence to question these paintings ie. - no picture of Norval painting one,no print,no picture of a painting in any book etc... IF they are fake - why has no one disclosed where they are coming from? That question is directed more towards the non-supporters of the 70's paintings that I have presented extensively on NORVAL MORRISSEAU BLOG".

I am confident in my beliefs that all the paintings some label "questionable" are doing a great disrespect to the body of work that Norval Morrisseau created in the 50's, 60's, 70s, 80's and 1990's due to the fact that most if not all of them are authentic pieces of Art by the Great Copper Thunderbird better known as Norval Morrisseau. Each piece that ever surfaces must be examined carefully for the Master's mark in his brushstroke, signature, colour wheel application and many other distinctive Morrisseau characteristics that have been already disclosed in this Blog with earlier postings.

Please observe the painting presented in this posting and give me your opinion(s) if you beleive that I am right or wrong by defending these pieces of art created by Norval Morrisseau.

Megwetch, SW

Anonymous said...

Not that easy. Nothing about this entry suggests that they are authentic. Perhaps the gallery did not know and has since been made aware. The challenge is not just proving that these are authentic...I am sure those claiming they are fake have an equal battle to demonstrate this. There is a lot of evidence to suggest they are not authentic and you raise many of them again. Also factor in that Norval himself claimed they were fake. But the challenge still exists to prove they are fake by figuring out who is actually doing them(or perhaps and most likely they are a number of different individual at present and in the past that have done them). The answers to this is likely known but it takes time to gather evidence and figure this confusion out. Perhaps those that know do not want to point fingers at friends or former associates that have gone astray? The truth will be made public one day.

SW - you have claimed you have the information to authenticate these and kept telling everyone to be patient but nothing came. Can you blame people for starting to pressure you for this information. In general this blog is very informative and presents interesting information but you personally claim paintings to be authentic and or fake you will be question. When you say you will provide answers and do not - you will be asked again and again.

That being said - I fully enjoy this blog and information shared related to Norval Morrisseau. Keep up the good work on that front and continue your investigation in the mystery around the 70's paintings

T.C.

T

Anonymous said...

SW,

I am sorry to report this to you but that painting is another of the 70s paintings in question. It was dated 1976 and "signed" on the back.

That painting was DONATED (like the one to the Senate) and was donated in 2000 by Dr. Cogan.

Much like the one donated to the Senate, the painting was likely purchased from an auction.

Whatever the source, you will find there is, like all these other paintings, no provenance. Where did these paintings come from? Where were they originally purchased? Etcetera...

It is somewhat smart... When Canadian Heritage purchases art- or they fund such purchases - they require provenance. However, when paintings are donated, the standards are lowered significantly. It seems many of these questionable paintings are DONATED rather than purchased.

Sorry but that proves absolutely nothing other than museums should be embarassed to have accepted such paintings without Provenance.

The fact that the Senate has a reportedly unauthentic Morrisseau on its wall should only indicate that many people, including institutions which should know better - are being duped.

I am sorry to report this to you SW but this information in your reent post has proven nothing still and it only shows the problem with these questionable paintings is widespread.

I am doing much research on this like you. I am fascinated by this story but I see nothing to support your position. I am looking but I must say it is not looking good for authentication.

I admire your passion but as I said, the findings thus far are leading me to believe some people are being duped.

Thank you for reading.

Robert T.

Spirit Walker said...

To Robert T.: "Why don't you provide me with some information if you are doing research on Norval Morrisseau like me?"

And to T.C.: "There is not mystery around the 1970s paintings at all, just fabrication stories of those who want to discredit these pieces of art by Norval Morrisseau"

Megwetch, SW

Anonymous said...

First of all, this is getting rediculous! Robert T, why don't you provide us with some of your research if you are studying Norval Morrisseau like Spirit Walker. I find it humorous that all you individual collectors and dealers continue to bash SW. That painting is as real as they geat. A genuine Morrisseau. That is insulting to the museums and collectors that own them. Did Norval say that specific painting was a fake. And correct me if Im wrong. But do you really think that Norval truly remembered everything he did from day to day.
He was a drug abuser and alcoholic all of his life. He probably didn't remember what he ate from day to day. That said, I have an incredible amount of respect for CopperThunderbird, but this was a fact of his life. So now you are questioning the authenticity of a painting owned by the government. Wow, there is no mystery to this painting at all, just alot of garbage and mud being thrown here.
The paintings speak for themselves. This is a very powerful piece. Keep up the great work SW, this will get sorted out one day.
Four Owls

Anonymous said...

Spirit Walker,

I HAVE BEEN sharing my thoughts with you.

If you read my posts, I am honestly critiquing the information and providing other information to assist you in your quest.

I am sorry but as long as these 70s paintings are devoid of provenance, and in fact, any evidence which links them to Norval Morrisseau (and it has been reported that Norval, himself - not Gabe, told the NMHS that these kind were fakes) - these 70s paintings are certainly a mystery! This whole blog spends much time debating the issue. Clearly its a mystery.

And provenance is even more important when you consider that it has not been 100 years since Mr. Morrisseau walked this earth. It's not like history would devour all evidence of his painting such works in his own lifetime.

I am excited by this mystery and debate. I want, like you state, Norval's legacy to remain untarnished. If there are unauthentic works being distributed, it stains his legacy and dishonours him. I think he didn't deserve that given what he gifted to all of us in his colours.

If I may offer a devil's advocate comment: IF these are not authentic as KRG and Norval claimed: don't you think those who thought highly of him, or even loved him as a person, may think the very existence of these paintings would be an insult to his legacy and to his person? I woudl think so. So, I woudl understand their not likeing this blog or even this debate. TO them - there is no debate. Their position is that these are fakes. They heard this from Norval himnself. SO I can also understand their passion in disputing or not liking this blog and some posts by people like Four Owls and M.G. (and I see their point sometimes)...

For those less spiritual or caring, it devalues all works including authentic ones because it shakes the art buying public's confidence in the marketplace for Morrisseau art.

Nonetheless, I think we can both agree that the Truth does eventually come to bear on long standing debates.

Thank you for posting my comments SW. Or as you often say: Megwetch.

Robert T.

Anonymous said...

OK.... Here is some really basic research confirming the donation and the year:

http://daryl.chin.gc.ca:8015/Webtop/CHINApps/artefacts/ws/human/user/www/Record;jsessionid=61os55kn64?upp=0&rpp=10&m=1&w=NATIVE%28%27INSPR+ph+is+%27%27Manitoba%27%27+and+ANBREAK+ph+words+%27%272000-144%27%27%27%29

Robert T.

Spirit Walker said...

Exactly what I suspected :-).

I bet that inscription on the back of the canvas is recognizable signature in English like on hundreds of other canvases from the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s & 1980s...

Megwetch Robert T., SW

Anonymous said...

Spirit Walker,

The file indicates that your comment is correct. However, the painting was a donation and given in 2000.

It has no provenance as a gift.

Let's think from the other side of this debate -

KRG would likely argue that a person can donate fakes if the museum doesn't require Provenance.

It doesn't prove anything. But keep looking... There has to be some proof that ties NOrval to these style of paintings somewhere.

Robert T.

PS - Thank you for the respectful discussion.

Bryant Ross - Coghlan Art said...

I must congratulate you on coming up with these odd details about Norval Morrisseau. It is the first I have heard of this exhibition and I do not believe that Norval knew about it. It is the first time I have seen this poster. I think Norval would probably have had a fit if he had seen it.

It would be important if this Museum had aquired the painting in 1976, because then there would be provenance. I would bet that they got this painting sometime shortly before the exhibition and that it has no real history back to 1976. It would be useful detective work tp find out the facts behind the who, what, where and when of this painting.

Of course it is signed on the back with black paint. All these questionable paintings are. The point is that none of the paintings that are agreed to be authentic are signed in this way.

By the way, the questionable paintings that I own and that Spirit Walker discusses in Detective part 1 are also from Winnipeg. SW should use his detective work to prove the authenticity of these questionable paintings instead of trying to dis-credit me.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ross,

Robert T. provided a link (see the above post) to Heritage Canada which has logged the donation of that piece as taking place in 2000.

The name of the donor is D. Louis Cogan.

Little Thunderbird

Anonymous said...

Spirit Walker: I must say that it looks like no one is going to give you a break. Mr. Ross, with all do respect, I think you lost your credit years ago. I also noticed that Kinsman Robinson Gallery is throwing their weight around as usual. Do they feel like the big man on campus by disclosing SW personal information. What a sad gallery in my opinion. That is not very professional. Keep up your love and work for Norval Morrisseau SW. It doesn't matter where this SW is from. What the does it honestly matter where he is from. And would it make things better if he was native? NO, it wouldn't. All I see is KR Gallery using a smoke screen in a week attempt here to take attention off of them.
Take care to all that read this site. Let's keep the gloves above the waist KR. You are just reinforcing the fact that you have no class at all. Be the bigger man SW,
and don't let these individuals get you down.
They are truly not worth it.
Tom Roberts

Anonymous said...

Finally we get to see what low class the K.R.G. and their little group are.You have to wonder how they have stayed in business as long as they have. I am sure Gabe himself is running their web page. It has his type of intimidation factor that he has tried to use with different galleries. Most of them saw him for what he is. I guess K.R.G. cant see the forest for the trees. They deserve each other. M.G.

Anonymous said...

Let's get this straight:

KRG are "low class" for providing personal information?

But this Blog (including posts by MG) accuse them of abusing Norval Morrisseau - of monopolising the Morrisseau art market - of lying - of stealing - of criminal activities...

AND "THEY" ARE LOW CLASS?

I am in the middle of this debate but while I see the debate escalating - I don't see that gallery doing anything immoral or unethical. I cannot say the same for the posters on this blog - including MG.

Do I think KRG were taking a swipe at this blog? Yup.

But given what they are surely reading on this blog (their latest post confirms it)- I am sure they would simply retort that turnaround is fair play.

Why has this caused such a stir? Surely you didn't think KRG would simply sit there and allow the attacks to continue unanswered? I wouldn't be surprised if they write more - I remember that some posts have kept insinuating that a "sledge hammer" was going to fall soon enough... IS this a sign that they are going to start something against this blog?

They get called liars and thieves and you get upset becaue they say SW is not indian and actually Croatian?

I don't get it. It is kind of childish...

Little Thunderbird

Anonymous said...

I just read the comment on the KRG blog... I think my concerns about those making slanderous comments is coming to fruition. They have issued a direct "warning" to Spirit Walker.

I can assure you that their last line indicates they have a lawyer. Only lawyers sign off letters with "Govern yourself accordingly."

I tried to warn people about this...

If I may offer some advice (take it for what you will)to SW, perhaps to mitigate things - it may be wise to send them correspondance indicating you are not operating under the advice of legal counsel and given their message, you would certainly consider removing certain postings by your blog participants if they would indicate to you which postings are considered offensive to them or slanderous.

This may satisfy them enough to not start a legal action (if they haven't already)...

This is getting ugly now.

Good luck,

Robert T.

Anonymous said...

I believe if Jesus Christ was standing in front of these 1970's paintings, it would still be considered "fake"..
SW you can put ANY 1970's painting with Norval ( as you already did!) the "camp" would state the same thing..Its not real, he didn't realize it was there, it was before they realized it was "fake", they were "furious" but they stayed anyway..it just goes on and on with these FEEBLE and outright WEIRD excuses! AKA..LOL

Anonymous said...

I see that trying to argue the obvious is your full time job LOL. Seems to me you are posting mor than Robert now! Didn't you insult him for that?

Little Thunderbird

Anonymous said...

I prefer to keep my identity hidden if you do not mind SW. I own two paitings that some would call questionable. I bought these as a new collector of Norval Morrisseau's art and a new collector of art in general. They were purchased on eBay by a vendor that does not seem to be a part of this blog. I was told they were originally purchased from Kahn.

AKA..LOL regardig your last entry... those may be excuses but how do you answer the question that not one painting of this style shows up in any picture showing Norval actually painting it (not standing in room with one), they do not show up in The Art of Norval Morrisseau, none seem to have any provenance, they are not in the Paradox of Norval Morrisseau and so. These are all facts that have been raised and have resulted in me questioning my purchases. SW, AKA..LOL, M.G. - any facts would be appreciated. I personally would be more interested in answers not arguing.

Can anyone help?

Hugh said...

AKA.. (also known as) KHVH

You better get back on the meds! You're rambling again. Once again your conversation with yourself leaves the rest of us wondering of who and what you speak.

Spirit Walker, a new suggestion, posts have to mean something to someone other then the little aliens AKA speaks to via your blog!

Please, stay on topic, and if you can't do that please stay on this planet.

respectfully, Hugh

Anonymous said...

"Little Tbird" perhaps your Robert? Or his lawyer? Are you counting the posts? Whats the score? Who's getting SUED?
I have it the
"The Fakes" 1
"The Camp" no score

AKA...LOL

Anonymous said...

Come on HUGH your blubbering gibberish again. I made perfect sense when I stated Morrisseau and Gabe were sitting in front of a 1970's painting. You saw the photo.. What part of English are you unfamiliar with? All of it? Get on track and provide an answer.. Should I capitalize these words for you? AKA...LOL

Anonymous said...

Spirit Walker,

Thank you for posting my remark at 17:50. I would appear it has been overlooked by AKA..LOL as he is arguing with 'Hugh', 'Robert T.', 'Little Thunderbird' and/or...

Would you mind reposting it again to see if any answers can be provided...thank you in advance..
__________________________________
Anonymous said...
I prefer to keep my identity hidden if you do not mind SW. I own two paitings that some would call questionable. I bought these as a new collector of Norval Morrisseau's art and a new collector of art in general. They were purchased on eBay by a vendor that does not seem to be a part of this blog. I was told they were originally purchased from Kahn.

AKA..LOL regardig your last entry... those may be excuses but how do you answer the question that not one painting of this style shows up in any picture showing Norval actually painting it (not standing in room with one), they do not show up in The Art of Norval Morrisseau, none seem to have any provenance, they are not in the Paradox of Norval Morrisseau and so. These are all facts that have been raised and have resulted in me questioning my purchases. SW, AKA..LOL, M.G. - any facts would be appreciated. I personally would be more interested in answers not arguing.

Can anyone help?
_____________________
ps - perhaps Robert T., Little Thunderbird, or Hugh have insight not shared yet as well that may be valuable rather then arguing with AKA..LOL?

Hugh said...

AKA,

Except for the fact that you did not say that, sure.

Can anyone help? - no they can not because your suspicions are true.

Hugh

Anonymous said...

Thank you Hugh. Unfortunately for me I may have learned this too late unless there is something that AKA..LOL can add, or MG or...
Still hoping but...not sure

Hugh said...

To: Can anyone help?

Do the comparison that SW has so kindly provided as today's post.

This proves to me Spirit Walker seeks the truth.

I think you can see what people are saying in todays posts. This along with no provenance, not a shred of proof they existed in the '70s, let alone painted by Morrisseau, is the proof they are more than questionable.

Spirit Walker, open your heart and feel the difference.

Just be,
Hugh