Archive for November, 2017

A Day at the AGO

spent a glorious morning and much of the afternoon at the Art Gallery of Ontario, November 21, 2017, going for one reason only:  to see Norval Morrisseau’s 6 panel “Man Changing Into a Thunderbird”, acrylic on canvas, 1977.  last time i saw it was at the National Gallery of Canada, 2006, and the time before that, in the book: The Art of Norval Morrisseau, 1979.  of course the book, filled with colour plates, is one thing, seeing the actual, is completely another.

so off i went on the Go Train to Union Station, subway to Yonge and Dundas, and on foot to the gallery.  without fussing with the collection i asked the lady at the front to walk me to the room where the Morrisseau paintings were hanging.

it’s an awesome thing for this Anishnabe boy to see these giant paintings:  Norval M. IS the founder of the Ojibwe Woodland School of Painting and the making of Man Changing Into a Thunderbird is a classic rock and roll story about art and art making.  my question, after viewing the work for a few hours yesterday, is:  What brand of acrylic paint did N.M. use to create this work?

pretty soon a class of high school students were brought in with the “native interpreter”, a very Indian dude about my age, sporting a long braid.  so i thought i’d stand back and listen to him make the pitch with him asking these kids, who he’d obviously lost by this point in time, why is this art work important?  boy oh boy he was plum off the map!  he wasn’t even in the ball park!  it’s pretty clear he hadn’t done his homework on this one.

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here is a photo with some kids in the shot, to give you some idea how big these paintings are.

after a few hours with the pieces i decided to boo through the rest of the gallery and see what they had.  it wasn’t long before i heard Erik Satie’s Gymnopedies:

(i’ve never been to Paris so this is pretty much “Once Upon A Time in Tehkummah” for me, switch out the beautiful Edouard Cortes paintings for some “range scenes”)

i thought i was hearing a soundtrack for an installation so i followed the sounds and found myself at the entrance to Guillermo, “Del Toro: At Home With Monsters”, an exhibition of his collections, films and notebooks.

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“Del Toro: At Home With Monsters”

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“At Home With Monsters”

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“At Home With Monsters”  (how would you like to have that thing sitting in the living room, over the fireplace, when the power goes out…  )

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“At Home With Monsters”  (is that Edgar Allan, giving you know who, a reading?)(those windows were live:  they had the thunder going, the rain on the glass, the trees moving with the breeze:  ultra spooky!)

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“At Home With Monsters”  (hmmm…  )

so anyway:  i’m walking around in there, eyes wide open, ears too because i’m hearing some of my favourite solo piano music and check this out:

WOW!  there is the source of the music:  a young and spooky looking whippersnapper on a black baby grand!  mega WOW!  i LOVE the music but i love it even more when i see it happening right there in front of me!  now hey, that really made my day, right there.  and so i stayed on, enjoyed the beautiful sounds coming up and out of that baby grand.  nice work!  and i said so, to the kid.

well you can’t have too much art in one day.  so i’ll come back tomorrow with Chapter 2:  Mark’s Day at the AGO.

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New photographs by Mark Seabrook

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“Dying 2B Indian, No. 1”, 8×10 inch photograph, by Anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  November 18, 2017.

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“Dying 2B Indian, No. 2”, 8×10 inch photograph, by Anishnabe artist Mark Seabrook.  November 18, 2017.

Artist proofs available until December 15.

paintings by Mark Seabrook

we’re going down memory lane this morning in the art department, looking at some of my work with the question in mind:  What makes art Canadian?  we’re asking after attending last night’s sleepy little outing to the Isabel Bader Theatre, Charles St. West, Toronto, where the Art Canada Institute gave their mission statement a stretch!  the ACI is dedicated to making Canadian art history a contemporary conversation.  in with last night’s conversation, a gal made her presentation on Norval Morrisseau, creator of the Woodland School, and his place in all of this.  of course what caught my eye in the promo was a detail of Morrisseau’s Man Changing Into a Thunderbird, panel 1 of 6.  (that’s the work that sparked my imagination way back in art school!  (even though i came up on Manitoulin Island and the second generations of woodland school painters were everywhere and you couldn’t drive 10 miles without seeing their stuff, courtesy of the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation))

A Self Portrait on November 30th by Mark Seabrook

“November 30th”, 2008, 30×40 inches, acrylic on canvas, Private Collection.

Bear Clan with White Raven

“Bear Clan”, 2011, acrylic on canvas board, 18×24 inches, Artist Collection.

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“Water Spirit”, 2014, acrylic on canvas, 24×36 inches, Private Collection.

January 2009 001

“2 Wolves, Feeding”, 2009, acrylic on canvas, 36×48 inches, Private Collection.

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30×30 inches

“Missing and Murdered Indian Women, No. 1”, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 30×30 inches, Private Collection.

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For Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women, Acrylic on canvas, 36×58 inches

“For Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women”, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 36×58 inches.  Sale price:  $4 000.

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Acrylic on canvas, 30×40 inches

“For Missing and Murdered Women”, 2015, acrylic on canvas, 30×40 inches.  Sale price:  $3 800.

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“Indian Residential School Survivor, No. 1”, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 30×40 inches.  Sale price:  $3 800.

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“60’s Scoop Survivors: Lost child, lost parent”, 2017, acrylic on canvas, 20×40 inches.  Sale price:  $2 800.

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“I.R.S. No. 1”, November 2017, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Sale price:  $200.

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“I.R.S. No. 2”, November 2017, acrylic on canvas board, 7×9 inches.  Sale price:  $200.

Original artwork by First Nations and Anishnabe painter:  Mark Seabrook, Manitoulin Island (which is right here in Canada!).