Museum of Contemporary Native Arts

Norval Morrisseau: Shaman Artist

June 15, 2007 through September 3, 2007

Copper Thunderbird

Copper Thunderbird

For almost 50 years, Norval Morrisseau known as Copper Thunderbird, has pursued a remarkable path of spiritual and artistic enlightenment. Committed to sharing his insights with both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal audiences, he has created highly original works that fuse his unique vision of Anishnaabe (Ojibwa) spirituality with contemporary art methods. As the inventor of Woodland or Legend painting – now know as the Anishnaabe School – Morrisseau has inspired three generations of Anishnaabe artists and his impact on the Canadian art scene has been likened to that of the Group of Seven.

The exhibition features 49 drawings, paintings and painted objects that trace Morrisseau’s remarkable progression as an artist. The dynamic, intensely colourful paintings, for which he is best known, appear to vibrate with an innerlife. Images of spiritual and earthly creatures as well as humans transforming into animal forms evoke the mysteries contained in ancient pictographs and birchbark scrolls and the teachings handed down by his shaman grandfather.

Drawn from the National Gallery of Canada’s collection and from public and private collections across Canada, many of these works have rarely been on view; some have never been exhibited. The IAIA Museum is honored to present the first viewing in the United States of this major exhibition of First Nations artist, Norval Morrisseau.

This exhibition is organized and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada. Exhibition Sponsor Kinsman Robinson Galleries