Canadian artist Norval Morrisseau died yesterday.
December 6, 2007 12:18 AM   Subscribe

Norval Morrisseau died on Tuesday. Known also as Copper Thunderbird, the Picasso of the North, and the Father of the Woodland Indian school of Art, he was the first to record his culture's oral traditions in his paintings.
posted by meringue (15 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
If nothing else...

posted by Alex404 at 3:18 AM on December 6, 2007

To add something else, his art has had a tendency to pop up in many places in my life. I've always had an intuition that it was by the same guy, and it always struck a chord. For someone who knows dick about art, that's rather unusual.

It's nice to know the guys name.
posted by Alex404 at 3:33 AM on December 6, 2007

Wow, such cool paintings! Wish I'd known him before the sad occasion of his death.

posted by DenOfSizer at 4:26 AM on December 6, 2007

posted by scruss at 4:46 AM on December 6, 2007

posted by LN at 5:24 AM on December 6, 2007

Beautiful work. It's sad that he was unable to paint for the last several years of his life.

posted by bassjump at 6:06 AM on December 6, 2007

His "son" (he was kind of adopted) was interviewed on "As It Happens" a few nights ago. Morrisseau was also a raging alcoholic. Whether this helped or hurt his art can never be known I suppose - he claimed it helped it.
I find it sad that I had never heard of the man until he died. You'd think they could squeeze these people into 5 minutes of radio time before they die.
posted by GuyZero at 6:22 AM on December 6, 2007

Wow, in these paintings, he's leaving behind a really beautiful legacy.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:20 AM on December 6, 2007

posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:16 AM on December 6, 2007

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:48 AM on December 6, 2007

What a fine tribute, meringue - that's an awesome obit. Like DenofSizer, I wish the occasion of his death wasn't my first introduction to his art - it's quite wonderful. Thank you for posting such a good overview. And ditto what grapefruitmoon said.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:34 AM on December 6, 2007

(Is being kind of adopted what happens after your mother gets slightly pregnant?)

These really are fantastic. Thanks for the links.
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:10 PM on December 6, 2007

(Is being kind of adopted what happens after your mother gets slightly pregnant?)

So I just know what they said in the interview - I don't hink he was legally adopted as they became friends when the interviewee was an adult. He was Morrisseau's manager and friend and was there when Morrisseau died; Morrisseau called him his son. The man's name is Gabe Vadas and the interview can be heard here.
posted by GuyZero at 12:55 PM on December 6, 2007

I have two of his prints. Sorry to hear this.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:51 PM on December 6, 2007

I used to see Norval around Vancouver a lot. At one point he had a Gallery on South Granville and I used to stop in and sit with him and Gabe and chat. He was the only other Ojibway I knew in Vancouver when I first moved there.

Norval Morrisseau was a profoundly important person for Ojibway artists and First Nations artists in general. He gave our art the kind of cache that Picasso did to modernity. He started a movemnt, an explosion of expression that tied deeply spiritual themes to contemporary visual artistic expression.

I'm surprised he lived as long as he did, and I'm sorry to see him go.

Meegwetch, Norval. K'waabmin.

posted by salishsea at 4:18 PM on December 21, 2007

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