Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau: Art and the Colonial Narrative in the Canadian Media

Category: Book
By (author): Robertson, Carmen L.
Series: Manitoba Geographical Studies
Subject:  ART / Native American
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / Native American Studies
  SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies
Audience: general/trade
Publisher: University of Manitoba Press
Published: April 2016
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 232
Size: 9.00in x 6.00in x 0.60in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau examines the complex identities assigned to Anishinaabe artist Norval Morrisseau. Was he an uneducated artist plagued by alcoholism and homelessness? Was Morrisseau a shaman artist who tapped a deep spiritual force? Or was he simply one of Canada's most significant artists? Carmen L. Robertson charts both the colonial attitudes and the stereotypes directed at Morrisseau and other Indigenous artists in Canada's national press. Robertson also examines Morrisseau's own shaping of his image. An internationally known and award-winning artist from a remote area of northwestern Ontario, Morrisseau founded an art movement known as Woodland Art developed largely from Indigenous and personal creative elements. Still, until his retrospective exhibition at the National Gallery of Canada in 2006, many Canadians knew almost nothing about Morrisseau's work. Using discourse analysis methods, Robertson looks at news stories, magazine articles, and film footage, ranging from Morrisseau's first solo exhibition at Toronto's Pollock Gallery in 1962 until his death in 2007 to examine the cultural assumptions that have framed Morrisseau.
From The Publisher*Who was Norval Morrisseau? An uneducated artist plagued by alcoholism and homelessness? A shaman artist who tapped into a deep spiritual force? From his first solo exhibition in 1962 until his death in 2007, the Anishinaabe artist from a remote area of northwestern Ontario was a frequent subject of Canada's national press. In Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau, Carmen Robertson examines news stories, magazine articles, and film footage to understand the cultural assumptions that framed Morrisseau.
 
Biographical NoteCarmen L. Robertson is an associate professor of art history at University of Regina and also maintains an active curatorial practice.