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February 24-April7,2001 Ca theride ne Zegher

DBAW & TELL

Gerald McMaster

C0NFll{EMEl'lT S0LITARY

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deZegher Catherine

O ftA & II TEL L And they would looklike.... them-that sftommyown self-what enough forme. I wanted todraw thatarel0ldin0jibwa. Bulthatr,vasn't See, there s lot$0fstorie$ place yean, notfotmyself, butfotmypeople. besome forahundred, twohundred I thottght if lhey could IIORVAL li|ORRISSEAU. I 9$5

s sma d eb y ia n s e uom f T h iss t a rt linsge rie s0 f d ra win grlla b o xa ttheCanad Mu C ontainineadsto rage p e n c il wh inp ris oi n a l rris s e a uile in n a series o f o verf if t y A n is h n aaartb is eNo t rv Mo C i vi l iza tio 0 tta wa, green paper towel unfolds anarra- 1972-73. Fox, anEconomic onfaded Hegavetheworksto Robert drawings p ictorial episodes, Ea c h s h e eot f Development ti vein seemingly Government, 0fficerwiththeCanadian papeto r,rnfroma roll,b e come f o r a dra u p p o rt wit hwh o m s wins g in h eh a dd e v e lo paef rie a ip n dwh o, d ndsh d t u rnd,o n a ttehdewo rkt sot h emu s e uinm19 9 2Clo 0r a central chara c tterar c e in an isola ted scene . sely plai ncontinuous lines,E achp icture c a p t u ret hse tiedto FirsiNations imageMorrisseau's story{elling, th o u g commu h n ic a t in g ofgth ewh o le sto ry, as m eanin a response tothepressures making canbeconsidered mome ra n tt h et hr a nrn o f f o rc esdo c iaal n dn o lit ica cl c u lt u ra tBioon. a froze n intheconce n traof tio n r ni n h ,o u g h1 9 3 2o nih eS a nP Mo.st fig u res arere cogniz aabltle a seq uence o neL, a kNip e ig one n ar d o inRe t s e rv are humabodie n s alterebdyhornasn dc la ws ,Thunder atti m es was 0ntario, Morrisseau Bayin northwestern inl ternoarg l a n s .ifA s primarily o udt"to reve a andar e"hollowe grandparents, His raised by his maternal aredrawn withparal- grandfather torsos x-rayed, the"transparent" "Potan" Nanakonagos, a shaman, Moses linge s, anda reo ftefilled n i nwit hh ie ro - e n c o u ra g lelconto u rin he im t h ro , u ghhisa rtt,h ele g a dt ot ra n s mit glyphic imp e rce p tma ib len n e rc yo f A n is h n a vaablu figure In s, a n a lmo st e easn db e lie fbso t ht o I n d i a n s while fishb, e a rs bu , f - a n dt o n o n -ln d ia tra n sfo into rm animals, hum ans d ra I nn1s9. 4 8wh , ile b e intgre a t ef o r- illn e sMo a n dsnaketas keo nan t h ro p o mo fal o,bird s, tu rtles, g iv e n h isln d iannam e s , rris s ewa a us s e rio u s phi cfeatu res-muas cha me rmaisnh a lfma nh, a lf of Copper Fromthe w0man. Thunderbird bya medicine w o rldv ie w, in fish.Thedra win tell g s of a na n imist h egc,o n s id e h b e g rn n in reims d ealfsa s h a ma n - a r t i s t , e n, c 0 mp a s s d eca n t ntu rnin ward whi ch a horn eserp l n is hn a a b e t hgek n o wle dngoeto n lyo f o raA in h e rit in wh t ogt ra n s f e r n s, ileappearin i ngfourhumafigure t ra d it io nbsu t a ls oo f v is u acl o n v e n t ioonf sth e Rid th eb a c ko f a f romitsmouth . ing m agi c p ao l wer S oec ieat yn,a s s o c i a t i o n Mid e wiwin o r G ra n[d/ le d ic in ro n tinagwhite b e a ar,ma nwit ha orconf thund e rbird pda n ealsn db irc h b asrk crolls in c is e o f s h a ma n s . T h e h a ircana cqu ire s p irit u a l o f flowing si ngl ponytail e b y S o c ie me t y mb ein rsc lu d epdic t o g ra pahsy u s e d d e p ic t ct thea n imaMore l, t h a n for ce inh iscontawith " e n a cmo t " v e -me m0aryid sT,oma noyf u s ,Mo rris s e ap uo 'ssit i o nf lines n extwoork fg raphite ing,a c o mple butother may seem strange, even exotic, a vin allogft h ep ic t o - shaman-artist m ent andreve rberainte tio nrwe , space between a comparable alsoarticulate o fnt heep a p e r.artists n dfillin g theimage-p la r ialel eme nats g e n e rat it t o thee a n d e t h ic s b , e lie v in g a e s t h e t ic s lyma n a t in g thefigureosr sim p e Whethco e r n n e cting itself. Bracha the scope of art transformation of wit he n e rgpya, rs em tore sonate fr om them, thelin ese sugEttinger, anartist andpsychoanalyst, d ti cula rly wh e ntheytra cepowebr e ingt ra n s mit t eLichtenberg "the patient, gests he is and if capihat artist doctor rogm lin ee x t e n d fin th ese n ses, 0ftena wa vy thr ough produces a byevent or object andredistributes to a circu laorr o v o id tures, th rough theth roat them outh reincarnattrauma and humankind, both conjunction of toleave atthe flows through thebody forminthechest h efie ldo fv is i o n . " a n ddre a lizin e ds idt e v ib thisseem in g ly ra t in ge dt,ra n s f o rme e dtheh e a rt, anusA ttachto it also isbased onherownpractice, andast h elin eis lf thisproposition n ts elifeforceitse lf; liner ep reseth from Pier of other artists, draws from the observations p rime ge ,t ra c e d e fin ing e lemeonftdra wint h alsothe " a p a in ting P a s o lin d ei s c rib in t hgea rt isat s th es u rv ivoafa l P a o lo tore cord ofthi slifelineca nbeseen it sp h a n t o ,ms , ,s y, mboolfs in s a nwit e h t h es p e c t aoc fle tra d ition, vanishin ora o Al nishnaabe. .Thetrihalgruup generations. toas0jihwa orChippewa byprwious Anishnabee were referred belongs iscalled Anishnabee.Ihe towhich lt|orrisseau


of revitalization inthesixties aspartofa wider andfromG ille semerged in an ill so u l," tragedy thewor l d's (liketheartist) Nations lifeinCanada. notas First ofthewriter Deleuze, whospoke 'a patient andof ofhimself a doctor, doctor butrather in 1962at thePollock firstexhibition ms Morrisseau's is th ewhole seto f symp t oin Theworld thewor l d. great While inststently success. in Toronto was a Gallery is confo u n dwith e d huma n k in d . " w hichsi ckne ss Morrisseau's native roots, his works asserted modern, d ire ct e xperie o n fc e withorwithout Wi tnessin tr agu ma, personal to theCanadian foridentity appealed search it, artist as doctor-and-patient that caused the theevent public in ofa culto a country search of the sixties and memowithanunforgettable thatartresonates reveals during identity. Nonetheless, national turally distinctive lVlorrisseau whohashimoftrauma, ryof theoblivion years, s0me climate ofihose theheavily assimilationist prey of dislocation to many of thesymptoms selfbeen he was displaying Anishnaabe felt that of his fellow a t ra u se e ms toreco rd Indiaco n mmu n ities, thatpl ague "primitive' oftheirculture, while b o th theilln e s sembarrassingly aspects beco mes m atic tr ace i nhiswo rkwhich sacred upon Anishnaabe himofdrawing others accused andtheremedy. pictography, forms employed solely visual secularizing purp0ses. whosupportBut there were those for spiritual andleaving in theremote townof Beardmore Living artistandcurator him,ascontemporary Saulteaux grade [/lorrisseau sat,ved theyoung after thefourth school "He hestarted a taboo when Houle said: broke Robert fromhisenvivisual art.Helearned littlemainstream when wasbroken. themould sharing ourstories.That's magazines and fromdiscarded ronment, andsometimes thanpreserving to him,"Rather Andall them0repor,ver attheedge fromtherefuseofa communiiy comicbooks, Morrisseau in anembalmed state, hisculiural legacy f lifeA. sa young ma nhe , h a dth esu p p oort ofCanadian partof modern it a living usesit in a waythatmakes ina modern hisinterest whoencouraged a fewpeople hadbeen a asthesacred artofritual Native life-much meanlarger metaphysical that could express artform parttotheancestors'culture, remains Morrisseau living we retheA ni s h n a aab e significance g ings. 0f continuin f igia u lre wh oh a ss u c c e e dinebdrin g in g c o n t ro v e rs p a rt, ic u la rly o f sh a manism an dtech n iques teachings andcontemof Native tradition abouta radicalsynthesis pictographic images ofthe[/lidewrwrnporaryart,Atthecenter, thosefoundinthe is always theimageof however, n sd theartistchanging to transmit cere mo naie w hich we reuse d scr olls twoworldstn between andvacillating the theattempi he discovered From theelders sniritual ouests. wisdom tradtAnishnaabe to bridgecultures, in the tionally found rockpaintings andpetroglyphs ancestral perennial issues of survival and the addressed andcame to understand Shield, region oftheCanadian in a harsh environof continurty andadaptation death, andbeau- ment, emploved elaborate artswhich thedecorative thenatural about Inthisrespect theoldstories andevery-forces of beadwork onclothing tifulfloralpatterns provide powerful for a allegory beseen to could intraditionthecontemoorarv background tools,The artist's dayhousehold Indian forces of a white-controlled a swe a fonrma lstimul u s lla s destiny. wasa s0ur cofeinsp ira tio lVlorrisseau hasstated visionary, Anexistential point, "spiritual witha new aesthet-thatheisdriven forhisengagement power a starting the tobreak down bya give passionate putting to contempoambition icsMorrisseau's world andmyown," thewhite barrier between its himself culture, to actualize to a threatened increasing hisisolararyrelevance atthesame time, atriskby, risked being t io nwit h in a tsa relegated to thepast, n ydh isin n ecr o n f lic t h ec o mmu nait traditions-which o fn withanappre-d iv id es d e lf . 0tnh eo n eh a nhdep ro v idaedse p ic t io combined only asdecoration-was seen but motifsandcontents, interplav ofcultures, inwhich dra win and g p a in t -thedynamic wol rld hension ofa ma g ica "in-betweenness" ofthetraqic a reflection a rs ontheother m forth evie we me b o th a mediuand i ngcoulbeco d access to a dreanslaleHiswork ofa splitexistence, forhim,a notential andgraphic aesthetspoken theinterconnected brought andthat work, thereception of Morrisseau's Similarly, visual art. intomodern ofa tradition ic expressions g e n e ra h l, as I nddsiaanrtin o d la n ra ry figure among the o f c o n t e mp oWo a pioneer wasto become lVlorrisseau it c o n s id e a re sd s h o u ld b e b e e n a mb ig u o u s : a lwa y s practices whose Indian artists ofWoodlands community


pictography, hisimages actas h anv e Relaied toAnishnaabe and rn ltsexh ibitio nco lle c t io tr i bal ormo d eart? prenarratives andrituals correlates of spoken a n d,it visual in e thnogra pmu h ics e u ms fr equently occurred f u rt h e in r t er pren e e d in o g n o c c a s io n s e n t eadss ig n s asmainstream contempobeen shown hasonlvrecently page, In writtenexplanations onthesame writing andmuseumtationthrough confusion in critical raryart.The pa u in s t a k in p uglle ly tdo g e t haem practice r anunder-1 9 0 5Mo rris s e because theinadequate is persistent, arttoboth u s c rip t otb ee d it eadn dp u b lis hbeytdh ea n t h ro po l o g i s t ofcontemporary oftherelationship standing percep-Selwyn TheGreat Dewdney asLegends of MyPeople: themistaken traditions entails oralandvisual initially, making a of these artists, Formany illu s t ra toiofle n g - 0jibwa. l nalve ti onofth isa rta sa literaand " p rimit iv e , " picture, "p rovincia l" making a was as important as o r book labeling it ends andmyths, froma lackof different Thistreatment alsoresults parameters frame- F ro mh is f irs t e x p e rie nocfe re c o rd insgt o r i e s art-historical within a conventional a far-reaching seems to haveacquired in wh icthh e Morrisseau wh ich ig n o res th e co n t e x t worof k a n a lysis, between theperforming oftheinterplay fromaesthetic forms understanding Thechange works areconceived isl u af ol rm s t t inagb o rig inv a art a n dv is u aalrt sJ,u slis in ritualto autonomous embedded of exoression , ro id eorer in n so t practices d ,c is e d -w a to the process of s c u lp t epda,in t eedmb is in directresp0nse lic a n in dg epended andto th ethre aotf a s s imilas-u f f ic iebnet ,c a utshee irs y mb ome enforced a ccu ltu raiion transmitting knowledge of performance t hse, ona shared n thtwentiet c ehn t u rie During th en inete eand ti on. l me n o tftsh e ihe h is t o Mo ry , re o vinehr,e reinntth ele x iceale accelerated efforts ofwhite authorities repressive "pr0 g ress," pace wo rld view it s e lf is t h e a n imis t a bneg u a g e - n is h n a la re lig ious co n versaionndmo , d e rnA of Wo some- u n d e rly in g o d la nbdeslieaf n dp ra c t rcbeo, t ho f thatchildren beremoved, ization Policy dictated e, g , d eliv eosft h ea u d ie nSc on taken hundreof dmiles s awafyromt h e irf a milt e swh icahred imin is hinet h tim es n o lo n g er be rit u a a l c t iv it ie t o s o c o u ld and wh e re theywer ef o rb id dteon d a n c e schools, l to r esid e n tia e h itnh e t odb ef a miliat or ma noy f t h o s wit h . n t awit c t h a s s u me oth eth r a nE nqlisCo speak anylanguage withThecrisisof belief, therupture withtrad it io p u gthhe m, n ra a l c - Indiancommunity. theirfamilies a n dthro , prot ra d it io a n n d t h e n e c e s s c a o ry n t in u it o ie f s f o r lo n g in t h e ore limin a t e d andb e lie was fs minimized tices per io d s.This inheritance, and of authenticity, ly difficultmatters la n g u a gweassin e v it a b foundly attack o nNa tive oe nn x t e n s ivset ulyd ie d . Tc h at thecoreof First le g it imahcayvaellb e e e anattack ontheoraltraditions paradoxes made the inevitably remain, tradictions and Natiocu n sltu re p re s s in bg yt h e irs ig n rf ic a in n cma e npye o p l e ' s mo re tra- liv e sB.e h int hdisd is c u s slie io nst h ec le atrh re aotft h e transmitted thethreat ofa lossoforally Perceiving g e n e ra t io n thestakes arerealand extinction of whole cultures: wisd o a m, a n d its collective diti onculture al antd , k inima q g eosr b o o ktso d o c u men contrast-v e ryh ig hMa whohadgrown upintworadically of artists, candistort them, First Nations oraltraditions miqht bethelasttoknow preserve ingcultures andfeltthatthey ima gwh e, ereas lit e ravle rs iot one a c h legends,f ix inag s in g le inthesixties torecord languages, started both gains pi cto g raphic from sustenance theflux requires and andritu a ls in b o o k s ,thestory art,so n g beliefs, s, h enin , t e rac t i o n n lig io u so f p e rf o rma nacnedin t e rp re t a t io lf a t firstInd iare dr awings, andp a intings. a nrda u d ie nTc h e is , c o mmu niiso n ob wh ich co n tin ut e d et h o r- b e t we setno ry t e lle belie fs andtheirsymbols, nuance of change, each shift, each andeach intheperform-necessary, repressed, were abletosurvive oughly peoplea n e w ing apret e llinma g in t atin h ess e n soefe n g a g in thaninthevisual arts-forwhat ingartsrather theveryrealsense ofthe sentinwhich thepastlives; eachotheris notnecessarily thinkandsaybetween s p e a k in in gth i s v o ic e o s f t h o s wh e o c a me b e f o re , tovisualtze urgeam0ng artists easily discovered-the e ot e llan d t h, e irb re a tin ht h eb o d ieosft h o swh n rld increase a sda,nimp e n dainngn ih ila iiowo or altra d itions nh . isin t imaacny dd is t a n cf eelt,s imu lt a ne o u s l y , co mm o nslye n s e d lis , t eT e me of the ir la n g u a gbeca c yn dn ec e s t olt ra d it ioonfwh , icthh ef lu e n a fromthefifties speak of a rec e n t ra letters andnotes Morrisseau's inthechang.es thatare overandagain dn s dg iv e v i- sityareshown hiswide kn o wle dofgmyths e andle g e n a ppose ltwo b ea mis u n d e rs t at n osduing it slif e b lo o d . u ld to record oraltraditions. of hisearlv asoiration dence


however it,confirm thetruthof thestory, iso ther th a nch a n gaech , a n ginewh ic h recognrzing thattr adi tion o fnMo rris s e a u' s t h ec o n d it io irme d . d imin is hTehdis.is b o t h l tobeconf w hosha re init fe ethemselves those which isoften extent, work, itsbackground, andtosome factors are its Such calculation, con- difficultto determine, aware of these intensely Artists likeMorrisseau, in a livesandworks Morrisseau because fromapparentimportant to recover change findways tradictions, a sense many aretrying to articulate inwhich shared at society theapprehension, They dosothrough fixity, laysclaim to a roleinthereviHehimself o fa,tellinfre g eodfs t a - of identity. a u d ience l east i nparbt yth e ir a rolethatconsciously of a dying tradition, talization theaudience transformation sis,andbytheimaginative Wh r d ra win g s . e t hheis t h ema k inogf t h e s e Thisstrategy maybea verylongway in f o rms in turn, effects it will condition the is or not, interpretation accepted at least the butit offers of origin, fromtheassertion for there areproblems ofthework. Clearly, thatis notmerelyperception repair ofthetradition hope of some p ta rt ic ip in a tteh at ra d it io n , c e oc a n n o of dubioust h ea u d ie nwh of rituals fetishization or therehearsal e tle icme nma t s ys imp ly into a n df o rwh o m t h es h a ma n is of oraltradition Thetransmutation authenticiiy. negotiations the Whatever cultural strange, and, to appear witha parallel happens within a culture drawing restsa inssig n jf ic a n ce o f dra winags wo rke n g a g eits ,n o n e t h e le in terlockin tragd ition som eextent, study. local activism oranthropological bond; butthecon- beyond fetish, andc0mm0n record, totem, stories andtheirmagrcal drawing ofspoken temporary the potential thelostinterplay between to recover tradt- Inanattempt thanthisgraphic appears to beother ,ima g e -ma k ing , l dt h ev is u aMo l, rris s einahuis re spects mimickinitg. I n v e rb a n ti on,w hilei n important of oraltracomponents totakeuptheinherent to express thespo- seems to finda drawnlanguage attempting withineachtellingof an transformation enters intoan dition,ofwhrch draftsman kenword, thecontemporary past reflect remains crucial.To inthepresent iale h ec t icold s story andch a lle n grela ing tio n shipd.T am bi valent present position to convey continuous in onebreath, and reco rd in and g lieinth efactth a a t visual ofthis io nhe a c h fro l md isa p p e acr-h a n ginea nima goef f e rinnge wp e rc e p twit fixesm eaning, a ssu rinits g su rviva itselfhaschosen transmutation Morrisseau timedest ro y inviewing, g while a tth esame 0rannihilation, ance his drawthe core of in Anishnaabe culture-as th aat re central a spects of sp e e ch a n g ing theconti nu o ch u sly o fh isis o la t secde n e s d raw inisgt o in ga n dp a in t inAglt.h o uegahc h itslifefo rceand , itspre sent,lf i tspul se, asit were within the characters isdrawn it hastobecomeof legendary nature of utterance, have thefleeting promise transf igurarozen moment, the of in f ixaiion of a f does, at least asspeech andcommunicate, transitory the is always hovering along tionandtranscendence atonce. many levels of meaning itspotential, thebodies astransofthefigures, Bydrawing outlines Morrisseau wrthin network of lines, a complex r s t ric t lyparent workh a snevebeen SinceM or risseau's gives image andaccess toanever-impending a haptic don oet x isint o fhsiste lling descr i ptithe v econtinuitie , is c h a n gaes is ib le s ideea c h fig u re n ,in e n s mu t aVt io with in there sid uofeA nis h n a a tbra butra ther se0uence female, litmale or well exchange, Often a character, at least as totemic signs, and recurrent themes, tradition: parts inla nu t e rin e -lik e b e a rs a n o t hheur maonra n ima all aremagi- e ra lly of a world ofwhich theimplication relational transference andsimultaneous where ofthepower of form, theeffective source callyinterrelated, imp o v e risah eedme rg e nb ceet webeenin ghsa p p einna s h a rebdo d ily in howe ver survival, e thel i few or ld ,Th n do b liv iosnu,b je c t fme moary sh a rinagtra d it io ns p a c e ,t0hnet h re s h o ld n a lofth o se for mof , theco mmu life partof andobject, Allowing difference, theselfandtheother. ofevery theelemental connection depends upon generates ihrough dratransformations g . thisencounter ofth esto rieins tel linit thew or ld andth ee ffica cy b e t we e n f e e lin a g n d t h in k in g e s p e a k in s ege, in g , it y lo g uin by a co mm u nis Wher the e wo rldexp e rie n ced I ne in g . inie t hsep ro c e so sf c o min g -in t o -b , se n seof re la t io ns u b je c t iv it incr easi ngfra ly g mentethdis practice, asa Morrisseau's art,asa social forthesto- thissense Ina curious way, hard to sustain. becomes is not relations anddeterminations comolex of manv fracture, evenuncertainty, impoverishment, ryteller, par r lling, constitubutisabove alldynamic: norfetishized, re p rodu cain s gstatic ofte ofth egra mma becom e ts thanconstituted. who, in tiveraiher bythelisteners experienced it does theworld


Thisexhibition hasbeen organized alongside thepreTrockel: Metamorphoses and sentation of Rosemarie projects testify to Mutations, Considered together, these a widercontext of artistsworkingfromwithinc0mmunicative action. Although working ata considerable disgeography, fromeach inculture, andgentance other share notions oftranseration, Morrisseau andTrockel relation. mutation, metamorphosis, andambivalent 0n drawings alsorefer toa tradition of occasion,Trockel's as n, da n ima ls tal esof h u mans beco minanimal g Thejuxtaposiiion of these bodies of becoming human. workcanbroaden ourperception of thecontinuous possibilities ofartitself,,. transformative

proved invaluable intheresearching andwriling ofthistext. Several sources Ihey arelisted helow: ofthe9reat|aku, Selwyn 0ewdney andlfunneth E.Kidd, lndian tnekkintings (Ioronto: |,|niversity 0fT0r0rrto Press, lg03). ltonisseau andthefnergenu ofthelnage [lizaheth lr|cLuhan anllonllill,ltorval (Toronto: #afers, [|ethuen, l$84). ofthe$un. Viviane Gray,"lndian Afiist$'StatementsThroughlinej'in /ntfaffadow llative ht (l|ull,Quebeu Canadian fi|useum of Pusputivw onCutenponry Civilization, l$$3). lloffman,"The AilofCanada s lndians andthe|||odern Aestheticj'ibid. Gerhard andContemporaty Ruth B.Phillips,"'|||essages fromthePast': 0ralTraditions lllloodlands Artj'ihid. exh.nl.iloryalilorrisseaa, llonoring firsl 0onald C.Robinson,"lntroductionj'in l0 l/10x?l/l$ in.({0.8x l8 cm). Courtesy oftheCanadian Antitled,l972-13.fiaphile onpaper, (Ioronto: llr,tilns,May 7-31, l$$4, lfinsman Rotinson 0alleries). irnage numhet iluseum of Civilization, S2000-5?50. inArti'in Bracha lichtenberg [tlinger,"Trauma andBeauty.Irans-Suhjectiviry 3,19lL n.paradora,internati 0nalfeninistartj ournal,uol.


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oftheCanadian Museun ofCivilization, image numbe S2[00{l$l tox, l$8$, Pencil onpaper, $3/l$x ?l/l$in.(23.3 x l8cm). Courtesy letter toRoberl


Gerald McMaster

C{]NFINEt.4ENT S {]L ITA ft{ prison are Many of these drawings times bothsides, n t io n pe ad p enr;e it h seri d e Lockein d a co lorless a n dclaustro p hcoobnicc re t e t wo -s idaesdif,t h ep ris ora some seems thana bedand,perhaps, Thefurywithwhich the room, withlittlemore to relate to theother. prisoners face drawings onthewalls, were being indecipherable scratches were made does notindicate they to contem-made stretches of timewithwhich himself. considerable foranyone except plate is nothing to achieve, There theirpredicament, think, The"Prison forfreedom, What to do:smoke, theledger except waiting Series," ca,1972-13, evokes r timetotim et h ep rrs o n edrawings incarceratsl eep, s cre a m, or cry?From byPlains lndian warriors created guards, andperhaps an ed at FortMarionnearpresent-day otherprisoners, St,Augustine, encounters t ime visitoIn r forced confinemaesnht ,o rt Intheircase, occa sional Florida, in thelate-nineteenth ceniury.r likeeternity. Asif in reaction to theirenviron-theIndian and seems warriors werecaptured, tried, charged, through spiritualimp ris o nbeedc a u os fet h e ira p p a ret ra ment, they seek restitution andrebirth n t n s g res s i o n s n tic ,h wh wa ss e e k i nt o g sear chin g . a g a in tsht eUS ,g o v e rn me paper rlvas availableitsterritory, Using what expand prispages out ideas, the practice of thelined Likea writerworking books-the FortMarion ofledger Morrisseau resembles a "mind oners Anishnaabe artist Norval drawings,Today, these made colorful anddistinct political relation-warrior map." Morrisseau's works have theelemental, revered artists would beconsidered of prisoners. characteristics of thecartography their al,andsubtle Intheirowndaytheywereproteciing justaswrrters begin byjo ininagn dc lu s t e rinterritories g TheFort thought, encroachment byoutsiders against ideato seeif a picture forms, Ma riole words around a central n d g edrra win a g swe , lla so t h eer x a mpol ef s cosn v e rgaen d theartform, l ettingsimilarities anddiffe rence fromMorrisseau's, inthat differincontent Meanin isg co n structed b ymakinsge n soeft h e thewarriors di verge, recalled theirwarexploits as wellas may Atfirstglance, theviewer c0n- everyday spaces in-between. theyalsotended to experiences. Stylistically, a very different andunfa- bemore clude thatMorrisseau speaks insubrealistic, corporeal, andevent-oriented wro n g fully t hsep o s s i-jectmatter. m iliar language, andthus d ismis ontheother hand, Morrisseau's approach, Thisessay seeks to is about hrswork. bilityof understanding seeing more withthemind thanwiththeeye. ofhisart, i l l uminate th ecomp lexity achieve different c0ncerns thattend Hisdrawings l,Hisp r i s o n t o wa rd t hset ime le s p s ,iriiuaanl,dp o weurf personal were rend e re o ndfra g - drawings Thedra winin g th s ise xhib iti0n exploandhisworkingeneral show paper paper, that ra t io nosft h es h a ma n is ilegreen most likely towel, a surface he a nt ic dv is ro n abry u tu;, n likt e to make finelines, Today thefaded imprisoned allowed theartist warriors whorecalled andexpressed a trapatina green aninevitable ofage.Thed it io n wa ofthepaper adds a l yo f lif e ,Mo rris s eeanuv is io nsepdir i t u a l remains constant, while theraggedfre e d o m, width ofthepaper toreo f f s p e c if ic thatMo rrisseau edgesin d ica te quickly, mov infro g mo n e .I S | 1A .LL l engths asif eager to b e g in II]IN ( {JFIOU " hiscareer, Morrisseau drawing tothenext.Throughout sphere in theearly lVlorrisseau cameintothepublic withmaterials thaiareconsidered hasoftenworked innatrt 1 9 6 0fso rh isd is t in c taivceh ie v e me s .Dur i n g poori nquality; peoples a v a ila bin lec,lu d -thistime, h eh a su sed a n yth ing were receiving Native across Canada herented, andtra- v a rio uksin d o ingcraftpaper, thewalls of homes s f g o v e rn me a snst is t a ninc tee n d teod Heh a sd e manded a s u rf a cse0,me -helpthem diti onbirch a l bark, Bypresent daystandards, heand assimilate " Y l|E NIL C C | (A ,IIl tAI I]A L L "

tl


e ereconsidere a b let o s u rv iveec o n o mic a ll y t we n re 0 need , in d e p e n dveisnio underp d rivileg hi s peoplw theirvision, to create artthatsatisfied wastheideaof andcontinued introduced thatthegovernment scheme r,vas "economic projects indeoendents, 0neofthose inwhich were creat- [/lorrisseau development," people's entryintoEuro-Canadian edto facilitateNative p e o p le Na tive h sa d .ON L{Il .i EIftU i l t t,{A | (EIlS,l EP A It{OFLIFIIIl 6A soci ety. Lead rng u pto the1 9 6 0 s, e s tocolo n ia l-fl A l i 0[]0ftI| | l /| | l LE " such deva stach tinagn gdue exper i enced genera tio n me n t aMorrisseau in cre lly i zati on thateach su cce e d ing community wasbornintoa smallisolated oftraditional cultured u rinagt imewh ema tomany aspects losta connection n alig l ioauns dc u ln ntyra d it io re healthcaa re n d, turalpractices re lig ion, e d u cation, found in l anguage, lt wasnotuntiltheearly were outlawed p e o p les gover nm During ent, th istimeNa tive ac ro s s1 9 5 0tsh ast t ricla cu wh , icfho rb a da eb o rig in a lt l u rt ws b ycre a t in gal expression, their g dissa tisfa ction many tribes Canada begavoicrn n wererelaxed and,bythen, politi cal t eins across to bringa b o uchang or ganizations fading memories oftheirpast. Canada hadonly In d ian art and cu lt u re rela tio n s, Indian- gove rnme n t No ts o f o r s o meT,h et ra d it io nwa a l yo f lif e f o r "ln d ian n e s s . " parents ofn wer ecr iti calto the articula tio managed to andgrandparents lVlorrisseau's possibly of survive to thisrenewed sense artcontributed most Morrisseau's laws, because therepressive identity. Indian innt h ewo o d la n d s A n is h n aliv a beein d re la t iviseo la t io theAnishnaabe 0ntario,Inthisenvironment, of northern p ra c t ic 's wasr is in g c o n t in ut o D ur ing thi sti mea, s Morrisse afaume e ly t hee irla n g u aagned ecdla n d e s t in whoworked other withRobert Fox, rapidlv, hecamein contact lVlorrisseau to which allowed cultural oractices, g o v e rn deve lopme officer n t forthe of nt asanec0n0mic an l dc o mmu e nn a vl iro n me e x p e rie tnhceef a milia 0ntario eager s p e a k in Fox2 arrived innorthern h e a rd ment of 0ntario. have An He b de o, u b t lewo s su ld g is h n a a people; on many andhisfirstjobwasfocused Native in toassist andhave seen andparticipated tribalstories group young youth. witha of its Inonecase,Foxworked been ancient traditions thathave several ceremonies, (0jibwa artists bysetting up imnortant or Chippewa) that Anishnaabe forhiswork, lt would seem influences g ro u nodnwh icthod e v e lo themin impro v insgu c a t assist anar tbusin eth ssa would a vpis iofno rh is hs o lid ' st u re o fdest a b lis hp-e o p lef u Th thei economic r situ a tio n .isco n siste have wo u ld b ro u g Mo h t rris s ehaiguh K ake g a mic t h e , social ing,w i th thebroth eGoyce rs a n dJosh im wasnottobe. status.This c0 mpany th a w t o u ld Tr ipl e-Pr K intS hop, a silkscreen years. of for a number operate successfully Morrisseau's visionary thinking trouEarly inhiscareer, wh , ob e lie v tehda th isp u b lic b le dh ist rib ael ld e rs byagentse x p re s s io such asthatprovided assistance, be Government o fns a c retdrib a kl n o wle dsgheo u ld p o sitive larg e -e d it io n va lue. Th e Fox, had some h a d b e like t ot h eA n is h n aCh abe ris , t ia n it y e n a c c e s s ib o nlely prints produced partofthecolonialist artistcoopera-a critical byTriple-K andother structure thathaddamtive n c eaged , theirtraditional a size a band le appre ciaaudie ti ves'r eached wayof life.What wasleftwasin practices inth e ircult u re the . hands th ea rtists'pride w hich intur nfo rtified ofa fewdevotees, andtheirfragile whicfhirs t couldno longer ofmo d e rnity, lr onicalitlwa y, sth ee fficiency interference, Morrisseau withstand yetunlikethe through systemic transfor-understood Native cultures undermined thefragilityofthisknowledge, f onrt elders as an in strum e w hichnowfu n ctioned to m ation, wasto make hisideas available hisstrategy B uthis t su c c e s sh isp e o p le Native identity. r ebui l ding andse lling a s we lla s t o o u t s id eArssa . ll a g re e d , p rinpt ro d u c -Anishnaabe Inthe19 7 0 s, Indiaand n In u it w asfr agile, werein danger of vanspiritual traditions p raisteo ishing[/lorrisseau rann g efro d mpublic ti onandi ts r ece p tio responded to thiscrisisbymaking les,p e c ia lly P erh s t a n d ahbis ly comn d e sce n sio n .a punders m ai nstr ea wid evlyis ibtle oo t h epre o p e id, e amo s re rewards of Na t ivaert is tHa were attracted tothemonetary h e, many artists e ld e rs s . v inogp e nclyh a lle n ghinisg u onto challenge o f theira rt.Mo rris s e awent d e velo l p ment of Christianity, advothi scom m ercia thehegemony a n d c a t infgo rt h ef u n d a mesnig thisscheme alsocomp rehended andhi sagen ts t anl if ic a o n fceex p re s s io ns eventually dam- of nativespirituality. of it,0verproduction increasingtookadvantage Intime,theAnishnaabe practices, withan lyinfluenced fewartists ands0me careers.A to aoed themarket sothatthetribecame tribal


people Intheprocess, beviewed asa center forculture, hadtheirfaithin spirituality restored, Weknownowthat generations Morrisseau influenced several in ofartists northern withtheboldstatement 0ntario thatit was acceptable topaint theunpaintable, persistence Morrisseau's inspired artists suchasCarl ja ckson R ay, B eard and y, Da p h n0ed jig ,a ll o f Anishnaabe ancestry,While other artists of hisgeneration inco rpora ted a n cie ntribal t storie sit, wa s Morrisseau whoestablished vocabulary a visual based iconic formssuchas pictoon potent andsymbolic graphic painted images onstone cliffsandthesacred m nemonic obje cts kn o wn a s birchba rks c ro lls . Morrisseau's workis enigmatic itselfonly andreveals particularly Non-Natives slowly, to theuninitiated. can qualcome toknow hisworkbyappreciating itsformal iiiesandbygaining a rudimentary understanding of its whichincludes transformation, spirituality, content, power, sacred andmedicine. " T |t EV Al tISH IJ P tD0 l l { I l S T H EP0 IN Il ' l H E ftE lt EA P P E AftS "

In the"Prison Series," Morrisseau turnstimeinto space; hetransforms thespace of imprisonment into people thatof spirituality. Few know orunderstand this Forthe space, butMorrisseau seems toseeeverything. physical artist, confinement, likethesweat lodge, funcpoint tioned asanentry intoa separate reality, lt is a powerful a space where timedisappears, and space, . )."E scapisea" wo rd w heronly e th esp irits live(fig 1 often used todescribe reaching a transcendent out-ofpeople body experience, Some takealcohol andhallucinatory toachieve transcendence.0thers cannot drugs itsconfinement escape andhave been deemed asbeing i nanothwo e r rld Co , u ld thev a swe llbeins u c a h s p iripractitioners, tualspace? Formany aboriginal sucha space i s n e ith egro o dnorb a dit; is b o t hliv in g and phenomena it iswhere withall is dead; communication possible, Morrisseau's lifeandworkhasbeen a strug- I Antitled,lll2-l3.Maphite onpaper, 14UZx? Ul0in.(38.$ x l8 cm). Coufiesy ofthe gleto understand thisspace, to visualize it,to make it Canadian lr|useum ofCivilization, image numher S2000-5751. people. known andunderstood byyoung Native wayistoexamine Morrisseau's ideas oftransformation, p o we ar,n dme d ic inNo s ay c, re d e , rt h e r n The"Prison in s p irit u a lit Series" drawings canbe understood place particular 0ntario is a of lakes, trees, and animals, and ii is numerous ways: oneis to lookat themes, lifeconcepts hiswork in entered suchasanimals andh u mans d e p icted ind iv id u a o lly r easy , toseehowmajor philosophy Anishnaabe is based andhuma co n s mbinin ehvb d rid forms A .n o t h esuch r anenvironment. ani m als

13


ofCivilization, image number SZm0-5?41. oftheCanadian iluseum cm). Courtesy 0rpaper, ? Ul$x l5 l3/l$in.(18x40.2 2.AnililEd,lg12-l3.Eraphite

numhet SZ[0FllU. l|useum ofCivilization,image x38.$ cm).Couilesy oftheCanadian onpaper,? 3.[ntitled,lll2-l3.Eraphite Ul$x l4 U2in.(10


ofCivilization, image numher S20m-5?2$. cm). oftheCanadian iluseum 7Ul0x l3 $/l$in.(10x34.4 Courtesy 4.Antitled,lll2-ll.Uaphite 0npaper,

shows humans ina process Morrisseau w0rldvieriv thatseesevery-Inthedrawings andholistic 0nanancient (fig, pr0cess physical expresses the andspiri- of transformation2),This andunseen, thing asrelated-seen is related, Holy beliefthatall of nature , , le a n d in t a n g ib leAnishnaabe tual ,ma lea n d fe maletangib practice invocations with theirceremonial of inter- people always begin embraces thistheory Morrisseau's "to phrase, meaning thattheanithe allmyrelations," reIated ness. plants, bodies, arewitness to mals, winds, andcelestial is equal to everymoment when everything thedifferenta spiritual tribalphilosophy enumerates Anishnaabe l rldis f ille dw i t h , rris s e aaun'ima s wo animalas n , ds p irit s .t h in ge ls eMo wor l dsinhabited by pla n ts, people buffalo, frogs, turbeavers, bears, serpents, longago, fish,birds, Traditional believed thatat onetime, world, heshows andmoose, Inthehuman withanimals, butthatpre- tles,otters, could communicate humans people a b o uat d a ilylif eo f p u rif i c a Yetsome Nativeme na n dwo megno in g havelostthisability. sentday people , lal s who t io ne, a t intga,t io o inagn,dra is incgh ild reanswe thatthere areindividuals continue toprofess (fi g . indrit u a ls me e nu n d e rg o0inr eg n g a g e forsuchcommunication.They arecon- me d ic in havethecapacity p e o p (u le s u a lly people me n a ) re s o met imes T h e me d ic in to the spirit world 3 ). sidered special whocantravel andstill withhorns, others wearheaddresses, whoare shown whocanseewhatothers cannot, andback, people,others wearnothing. visionaries, ormedicine referred toasshamans, worlds. theseen andunseen They areconduits between worlds-both human andaniinhis lf wearetograsp these ustosee, Morrisseau understands thisandwants to enter: says, there's a thirdworld havestaiedthatMorrisseaumal-Morrisseau work,whatthatmeans, Some yetpowthetwo,a dangerous McLuhan theliminalworldbetween Anthropologist Elizabeth himself is a shaman. place, between, theimages aremuch lnthespace asa shaman andthathe erful hasargued thathewastrained Among theAnishnaabe, to understand. image-making asa tool moredifficult theknowledge of shaman used (1984:49). These beings arethe spirits. culture therearetwopowerful an ailingAnishnaabe io revitalize panthers; they together hisworkexpli- thunderbirds andunderwater Whether thisisthecase0r not,clearly philosophy, though theyarealways keeptheworldin balance, cates hispeople's tribal


ilIuseum 5.Antitled,1ll2-l3.Eraphite onpaper,T l/10x l4 U8in.(18 x3?.8 cm).Courlesy oflheCanadian ofCivilization,image numher S2000-5'i28.

"-;ryi ,,re onpaper,? l/18x l5 3/8in.(18 x39rm).Couflesy oftheCanadian Museum ofCivilization,image numher S2000-5?26. E.Ailtitled,l|l2-ll.Eraphite


views stillproTh.et h u n d e rb ird a very world, where traditional struggle s modern bel i eve todb ein constant p la c e s p rese n ce in wh e re t he i r t ogt h o swh e oI iv e is h e a rd in t h et h u n - v id eme a n in ar esk ybein gwh s o se have inhabited. fla p p ing wings andt h elig h t e n inancestors g always s o u nodfth e ir der ous panthers are thatemits fromtheireyes,The underwater ad s " TIIIl A S IN 6LEFC C LISS}|ILLA ,E LE Mish a p ish some o o : times th e yared e p ic t e IS I{] II1ff{]I / cal l ed ts 4 ),T h epirre s e n cAe,1,]A feline, o ther timeas s serp e n(fig A IS E A ftCF| l | JftI| | E C .1El {E C E S S IAI| R| C R O" powerful storms when thewater In these isseen andfeltduring lVlorrisseau shows usa density of drawings, A nis h n a a b b e e lie v e to o roughfo r trave l. becomes ima g easc,o mp le o x it f cyo mp o s itt hioanis t mis s i ni ng waters,ma noy f h isp a in t inT gh s ,e re longtailcreates unmanageable [/lishapishoo's is a d e lic a tcoyt he s e ic rk so n p a p e trh a ts e e ms trave lers lts.p ic t o g ra p hwo whi chca nkill in a tte n tive ma t e ria lly in s pi r e d . andonobjects such as Nevertheless, image isfound onrock surfaces elders would say, are theimages, astribal painted withpor- s oo o we rft huel cv a n n bo et c o n t a inoentdh es h e e t . T h e hidebags, or delicately ornamented gives rk, rrisseau a pr e s e ntcoet h e drawings, cupinqeu illwoMo which cannot reveal thecomplexities ofsuch , is in t e re s tin e d a na n c iepnht ilo s oapsht hy aot ft h eA n is h n agaiv sni r i ts of a 0 n cedista nwo t rldHe b eeu,s p ic t u rin g pla ces explo rin g thataremo re-than- h u ma n ,a onlytraces, wit w om an ridin g a turtlesh ,oo winmen g stru g g lin gh intofish(fig.5 ), a n dwo me nCo n f inteoadc e ll, anim aolsrtra n sfo rming e v ehnisma t e ria wal slimit e d .th Yet suckling huma a nn s da n imaFor ls. lV lor ris saenadtuh e s imp licoitfyh iss u rro u n d in t hgeslo, n gmo menotfs are l, t oa c k n o wlAnish n athese a b e ,articula tio nre s a so b e in ga lo n ewit , ho n lyp a p ear n dp e n c ilin h an d , h e d raws co n n e c tlin iv ee s , re le a saepdo we rfouult p o u rin edgeco mplerex lations, li m o fegx p re s s io n. T h- e power, running fromonefigureto another, often it so fh isc e llc o u ld linesof f a ile n oh t o ld h im, Co n f in e me n ttdo b a g han s g inf ro g ma a rre satno u t p o u rin em anating f romsma me ll d icine o fegmo t io n , A lik rt iseMo t s rri s s e a u pow elin r essig n i- c a n n b figur eneck 's (fig,6 ),S o me o fth e se o rin t sgu c a h t o rre tnota ne n dS. in cheeb eg a n in fy special co n n e ctions. Thisideaorigin a t e st h e making art,Morrisseau hasbeen ona mission to crerelation-atenotforthemasses, frameof reference for certain Anishnaabe butforthefewHeisanoutsider (ortotem, known), lt whocreates ships, or dodem asii is commonly hethoroughly understands, artina world poetry hrlv u ma n -a n ima l m eans ance stral rela tio noarticula s, heis happy. His andartserve andinthisworld la nlin e a g e st o . d e s c rib r el aiiowh n s,ich ca nb esig n ified thro u gc h t heeu n k n o wn o n e,s o u g o hu t ft o ra ne t e r n i co t smmu n ic a tty. ioMorrisseau n A curlicue styleof linere p rese n reveal leads usto a truththatwould between humans andspirits.Longwavylinesthatevoke rt s e lf h ;ele a dussins e a rcf o h rs p irit uaartl ic u lat i o n , powers fromthemind, theheart thespirthatemanate " T| tE Il{{JtlftE A O it bei ng andme d icine b a g s. animals, , Il | E S ELI| {E Si,11I' {K C F| j | E . A t' l O I/t]A .]I l tA V EIl {)II/fi Ii TE t{| | E A ft."

world hasexcited somany: lVlorrisseau's extraordinary drawings ls whathereveals to usreal?Morrisseau's Anishnaabe artists other sayit isso,asdothecountless theirsp iritu ain litcyo n t e mp o w hocon tinto u eexp ress LSeePlains lndian hrawinW 1005-1935: Pages fronAVisual ltislorX ed.Janet literary, filmicor performararyways, beit asvisual, (l'|ew llewYork:The Catherine Berlo, YorkHarry ll.Abrams, Inr.Publishers; shiftin American tive.[/lorrisseau contributed to anastounding l,lewYork:The Drat,ving lg$5). [ederation ofArts; Center, Rohert fox,presenlly thedirector ofthe0ttawa llative pe o p le's a leh, e lp - 2,forpartofthisstory, Native auth o rity o ver th e irspirit ulif in 0ltawa,0ntario, donated this collection of drawings to the Friendship Centre ingtotransform anattitude of concealment to oneof Canadian fi|useum ofCittilization. Th ewo rldwe s se ein t h e swo e rk sS.Ihere nubl ic a rticu lation. it was, however, the were several initiatives likethisarross thecountry; just imagination of one man, not printproduclion arenot theremarkable populatity. ofl{orthwest Coast andInuitafithrthadthewidesl printcompanies lndian liwdanddied inthel$?0s, while thepopuNo if hei nsp ire s0 dmany a n da n g e red o ihe rs . Wea ll ilanyofthese prints producing larity of Inuit continues to this day. in different ways, Morrisseau's artsugseetheworld 4.IntheAnishnaahe story oftheCreation oftheworld, thecultural hero gests . wa sb o rn He in toa richA nishnaa h ebrit e a ga en ,d lianatozho placed oftheturtlefiomwhich thewotld apiece ofearth ontheback g formed; hi sw orks ce lebrahis tep e o p les'te nfaocrsituyrv iv in was powers areassociated with women. thelife-giving

17


intheExhibition: Works graphite (1972-73), 0npaper, areAililhd noted, alldrawings Unless otherwise di m ensi on sva ria b lefromTl/16x9 3 / 4 in . (1 81x6214/ 1c6nx)t701 / 1 6 in . (4 0 , 8 x 1 8 c m). Museum ofCivilization,Ottawa. oftheCanadian areinthecollection Allworks


gratitude 0urdeepest isextended toNorval Morrisseau, Special thanks to Gerald McMaster, Curator, Museum of theAmerican Indian, Washington, DC,andto Donald Robinson, Director of Kinsman grateful Robinson Galleries,Toronto,We arealsovery totheCanadian Museum of Civilization,0ttawa, andinparticular to Sylvie Par6,Interim Curator ofContemporary Indian Art,Louis Campeau, Library, Archives andDocumentation Services, Research andCollections, John Corneil, Loans 0fficer, andAnna Jakobiec, Conservator. Finally,The Drawing Center would liketosincerely thankTom Slaughter forhisenthusiasm forthisproject. possible Theexhibition ismade through thegenerous support ofThe Horace W,Goldsmith Foundation. provided Additional support bytheCanadian Consulate General, New York,

TheDrawing Center istheonlynot-for-profit institution inthecountry to focus solely ontheexhibition of drawings, bothhistorical andcontemporary, lt wasestablished in 1976to provide opportunities foremerging and under-recognized artists; todemonstrate public thesignificance ofdrawings throughout history; andtostimulate dialogue onissues ofartandculture. Thisisnumber l9 of IheDrawing Papers,a series ofpublications documenting TheDrawing Center's exhibitions public programs providing and and publication a forum forthestudy of drawing.Ihe Drawing Papers series is printed onMonadnock Dulcet 100#SmoothText and80#Dulcet Smooth Cover.


Board of Directors DitaAmory George Negroponte Co-Chairnen Frances Beatty Adler M.Clark, Jr. James Frances Dittmer E is ler Colin Factor ilizabeth Bruce W,Ferguson lovenko Michael WernerH,Kramarsky Abby Leish W illiam S .Lieb e rm a n Michael Lynne Rohatyn* tlizabeth EricC.Rudin LeeSessoms Dr.Allen Jeanne C.Thayer* H.Tuck Edward Woodner Andrea deZegher Catherine Director fxecutive *Emerita

Center TheDrawing 35Wooster Slreet New York, NY10013 T el:2l 2- 21 9- 2 6 16 Fax: 212-966-2976

LucDerycke Designer: Katie Dyer Coordinalor: Drawing Center @ 2000The

image nunter: $2000-5?25. iluseum ofCitilintion, x30.$ cm). Canadian onpaper, ?Ul$x l{ U2in.(18 Bltlti llntitled,lgl2-?3.8raphito


Draw & Tell: Lines of Transformation by Norval Morrisseau/Copper Thunderbird  

The Drawing Center's Drawing Paper, Volume 19 Featuring an essay by Catherine de Zegher and essay by Gerald McMaster.

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