Artwork by Norval Morrisseau,  Medicine Buffalo

Norval Morrisseau
Medicine Buffalo

acrylic on canvas board
signed lower left
20 x 24 ins ( 50.8 x 61 cms )

Sold for $11,400.00
Sale date: June 1st 2016

Provenance:
Dominion Gallery, Montreal
Gerard Gorce Fine Arts Inc., Montreal
Private Collection, British Columbia
Exhibited:
Dominion Gallery, Montreal, 1975
The buffalo has deep significance to the culture and history for the Anishinaabe First Nation peoples. The Anishinaabe Medicine Wheel depicts the buffalo as a guard to the West, the quadrant to which it is assigned, mirroring the directions of the Earth and teaching unity and respect to all living things.

The North American Seven Grandfather Teachings also include the buffalo in their seven guiding principles to their cultural foundation. With an animal or being assigned to a moral value, the buffalo represents respect through honouring all creation. Buffalo were not only a source of sustenance for First Nations people, all parts of the animal were given to support human way of living. Both the sacrifice of life and the use of all parts of the animal are signs of mutual respect as one gives life to sustain another. These cultural themes are represented in form and line in the artist's fluid contours, connecting the all the composition forms.

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Norval Morrisseau
(1931 - 2007) RCA, Order of Canada

Born in 1931 at Sandy Point Reserve, Ontario, Morrisseau was a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts since 1970. Norval Morrisseau was the celebrated founder of the Woodland School, which revitalized Anishnabe iconography, traditionally incised on rocks and Midewiwin birchbark scrolls. A self-taught painter, printmaker, and illustrator, Morrisseau created an innovative vocabulary which was initially criticized in the Native community for its disclosure of traditional spiritual knowledge. His colourful, figurative images delineated with heavy black form lines and x-ray articulations, were characteristically signed with the syllabic spelling of Copper Thunderbird, the name Morrisseau’s grandfather gave him. Morrisseau completed many commissions during his career including the mural for the Indians of Canada Pavilion at Expo 67. He was made a member of the Order of Canada in 1978 and, in 1980, received honourary doctorates from both McGill and McMaster universities. In 1995 Morrisseau was honoured by the Assembly of First Nations.