Sunday, March 4, 2012

Endorsement by Thunder Bay Art Gallery of genuine Morrisseau paintings from 1970's

~ In regards to the Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings signed by the artist with a dry brush (DB) technique ~

"Untitled"(fish with minnows), 29"x20", © 1976 Norval Morrisseau
/FRONT inscribed in Cree syllabics; VERSO signed in black acrylic/
~ The Thunder Bay Art Gallery Collection (Catalogue No.: 04.7.4)

/Click on image to Enlarge/

>>> This genuine Norval Morrisseau painting was one of Mr. Joseph Otavnik's Family donations (2004) to The Thunder Bay Art Gallery which is an accredited Class "A" Institution.

The work above was viewed, inspected and approved by the Registrar of The Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Gail Fikis, the gallery director Sharon Godwin and the Board of Directors of the Gallery & declared authentic by the head curator Mr. Glenn Allison. It was then fully vetted and approved by the Government of Canada as per the Canadian Cultural Property Review Board.

Note: Additional paintings by Mr. Otavnik's Family donation in 2004 to the same institution are as follows:

1) 'Untitled' [animal spirits facing inward] (Catalogue No.: 04.7.1); 
73 cm x 56 cm; © 1970 Norval Morrisseau;
/FRONT inscribed in Cree syllabics; VERSO signed in black acrylic/ 

2) 'Untitled' [two shaman and animal spirits in cameo] (Catalogue No.: 04.7.2); 72 cm x 85 cm; © 1979 Norval Morrisseau
/FRONT inscribed in Cree syllabics; VERSO signed in black acrylic/ &

3) 'Lake Trout with Eggs' (Catalogue No.: 04.7.3); 
114 cm x 80 cm; © 1973 Norval Morrisseau
/FRONT inscribed in Cree syllabics; VERSO signed in black acrylic/.

>>> The below statement is from curator of The Thunder Bay Art Gallery regarding donated paintings:


The National Gallery of Canada recently pointed to the "archetypal status" of Norval Morrisseau as it assembled a touring exhibition that views his nearly fifty years of artistic production.

Recognized as a brilliant innovator, Morrisseau inaugurated the style of painting, which has come to be called "Woodland", or "Legend" painting by transferring an idiom heretofore inherent in historical rock art and the birchbark Midewiwin scrolls and reinscribing it in western formats with a highly contemporary palette. In doing so, he founded a school of visual art, the predominant style of which persists in active, varied and vital production to this day.

Morrisseau's work insinuates the vision and position of sacred shamanic practises in Anishnaabe culture, embodying a visual lexicon of spiritual creatures that is said to be a direct inheritance from his grandfather. Characterized by pictographic x-ray depictions, the style imparts the inter-connectivity of all life forms and their shared interiority. In its simplest forms, Morrisseau's approach infers to each viewer the unfolding of an entire cosmogony fully empowered with transformational possibility and the capacity for shared indwelling.

One of the most widely collected and exhibited personalities of the entire Aboriginal Renaissance, Morrisseau continues to parallel, inspire and propel Aboriginal art in this country. As a result, his work also continues to call forth new research, increased analysis and collection.

The pieces considered here are all modest in scale, all date from the decade of the seventies, and are fully characteristic. All are original paintings. Lake Trout With Eggs from 1973 recalls the artist's early monochromatic approaches. The Untitled work from 1979 includes a shaman figure among representative fish, bear, birds and reptile. The Untitled (Animal Spirits Facing Inward) 1970 is an important distillation, pointing to chthonic origins, and the Untitled (Fish with Minnows) is thought to have been an endearing gift for a child. Together these examples expand the repertoire of material that the Thunder Bay art Gallery can offer for research on this highly important national treasure.

Glenn Allison [1], Curator /Retired on December 31st, 2009/

/The Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, Ontario/


SOURCE: 'Exhibit #7' for a Court case: Otavnik Vs Sinclair SC 09-00082782-0000 (Formerly S8871/08; Otavnik Vs Sinclair and Kinsman Robinson Galleries)

~ Click on 'Exhibit #7' to view correspondence and all necessary documentation including the inspection and approval by the Registrar of The Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Gail Fikis (see Pages 1 - 4 & 7), the gallery director Sharon Godwin (see Pages 2 & 7and the Board of Directors of the Gallery (see Page 1) & the head curator Mr. Glenn Allison (see Pages 5 & 6). Also, to view Thunder Bay Art Gallery's application to the Government of Canada's Cultural Property Review Board (see Page 7) and see Pages 8 - 11 for images of the paintings in question.

* See Page 4 for APPLICATION FOR CERTIFICATION OF CULTURAL PROPERTY FOR INCOME TAX PURPOSES submitted to the Canadian Cultural Property Review Board by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery clearly describing donated paintings inscribed in Cree syllabics (FRONT) and signed in black acrylic (VERSO).

[1] - Mr. Glenn Allison's 43-year career as a visual arts professional with galleries throughout Canada began as Research Curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery, working with Doris Shadboft from 1968-1972. His experience includes management of the Bau-Xi Galleries on the west coast of Canada; Instructor of Art History for Columbia Junior College and Capilano College; instructor for the British Columbia Museums Association; instructor for the Association of Manitoba Museums; instructor for Brandon University, Manitoba; Director-Curator of the Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon 1989-1999; Director Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery, Waterloo 2000-2003.

During his 5-year tenure as a curator with the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Mr. Allison organized over 100 exhibitions, delivered many animated talks and tours, and arranged countless acquisitions for the permanent collection including a generous donation of 179 prints and drawings from the late Susan Ross.

Mr. Allison’s most important legacy was the steady increase in the number of solo exhibitions of work by regional artists presented by the Thunder Bay Art Gallery. This growth has resulted from his serious attention to the development of artists in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario.

In addition, Mr. Glenn Allison organized many lively and surprising exhibitions from the permanent collection. The most memorable being the exhibition: Unreserved: An Affirmation of Contemporary Expression, comprised 125 pieces drawn from what he calls a “rich and eclectic representation” of work by Canadian Aboriginal artists in the holdings of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery.

BLOG MASTER'S NOTES: The above presented genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings on canvas were acquired by Mr. Joseph Otavnik from Randy Potter Estate Auctions in Port Hope, Ontario; professionally appraised by Mr. Joseph McLeod of Maslak McLeod Gallery in Toronto, Ontario (see Page 3) and declared authentic by Mr. Glenn Allison, curator of  the Thunder Bay Art Gallery (see Page 6). 

Thunder Bay Art Gallery holds among the other art pieces from the Helen E. Bend Collection had received in 2002 a donation of an oil painting on natural birch bark 'After Spirit of the Fourth' (Catalogue No.: 02.3.1); 24.8 cm x 26.2 cm (1958 ) which was directly donated from Mr. Rolf Schnieder's Private Collection (Thunder Bay, Ontario).

~ To view another painting executed in similar painting style which is in permanent collection of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery click HERE.

>>> Reference posts:
- Authenticity Statement by Mr. Goyce Kakegamic 
 /'In regards to Genuine Norval Morrisseau paintings acquired from Collections of Mr. Rolf Schneiders and Mr. Gary Lamont/,
- Friends of Norval Morrisseau (Part VII) /Ref. Mr. Gary Lamont/,
- Statutory Declaration by Mr. Robert Scott, /' Witnessing Norval Morrisseau signing the paintings with a dry brush (DB) technique'/
- Statutory Declaration by Mr. Deiter John Voss/' Witnessing Norval Morrisseau signing the paintings with a dry brush (DB) technique'/
- Forensic Document Examination (Part I),
- Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part I),
Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part II),
- Downloadable Norval Morrisseau Forensic Reports (Part III),
- "Morrisseau Signature Identification Article 101" (Part I) &
- Norval Morrisseau Certificates of Authenticity.
 /Signed by the artist on April 11, 2002 in Thunder Bay, Ontario/

* The painting in this post: ""Untitled" (fish with minnows), VERSO signed in black acrylic, 29"x20", © 1976 Norval Morrisseau /The Thunder Bay Art Gallery Collection (Catalogue No.: 04.7.4) /

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