This exhibition features work by Anishnawbae artist Norval Morrisseau recently donated to the Thunder Bay Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection. Purchased by or gifted to families in Northwestern Ontario, the work is a testimony to Morrisseau’s impact and reach as an artist across the region. In this exhibition we see examples of the artist’s iconic style – namely, the interconnected ‘power’ lines that circulate on the picture plane, bold colours and an uncompromising homage to the rich pictographic tradition of the Anishnawbae. In one work, the pencil sketch of Morrisseau by fellow artist Susan Ross, we also see a quiet and contemplative young man on the verge of recognition. Altogether, these works significantly add to the Gallery’s holdings of Morrisseau’s work and illuminate the lasting strength of his oeuvre.
Norval Morrisseau (1932-2007) was internationally recognized as one of Canada’s most preeminent artists. Born in Beardmore Ontario, Morrisseau is acknowledged as the founder of the Anishnawbae style of painting, commonly known as the “Woodland School of Art.” During his lengthy career, he would receive Honorary Doctorates from Lakehead University and McMaster University, participate in Montreal Expo 67, be a member of the Professional Native Artists Incorporated, be inducted into the Royal Society of Canada and be represented in numerous private and public collections across the globe. Morrisseau passed away on December 4, 2007.