Norval Morrisseau Unlimited

Catalogue Raisonné For The Limited Editions ——————– The Scientific Blog Project ———————————————–

Self Portrait – Devoured By His Own Passions

Medium: Serigraph on paper (S: 1∙Re∙Tpm∙Tpp∙Tse)
Edition size:  Known (S: 1∙Re∙Tpw∙Tse)
Artist Proof:  Unknown
Paper size:  Known (S: 1∙Re∙Tse∙Tm)
Image size: Known (S: 1∙Re∙Tse∙Tm)
Year:  Unknown (estimate ca 1975) (note 1)
Printmaker:  Great Grasslands Graphics Company (S: 1∙Re∙Tpe)
Code: GU.5

General: `Any man who is attched to sence’s (sic) and desires and richs (sic) of this world is like a man who is being devoured by serpents who represents (sic) his own passion and desires`.
Norval Morrisseau on Man and snakes (see remark)

`…[Self-Portrait. Devoured by His Own Pas­sions] showing the artist constant struggle with his own emotions. It is belived that the serpents symbolize duality – good and evil. Five is a magic number often found in Ojibway legends and represents the five basic senses of man`.
Lister Sinclair & Jack Pollock in The Art of  Norval Morrisseau (page 113), 1979, see literature.

`In Self-Portrait, Devoured by His Own Pas­sions, painted in Vancouver last summer, he deals with moralistic Chris­tian guilt over yielding to the pleasures of the world, including masturbation, depicted as an arm that becomes a snake attacking his heart`.
Jon Anderson in Fierce Clarity and Sophistication (Time Magazine, Canadian Edition, page 10), 1975, see literature. Article reprinted in Norval Morrisseau and the Woodland Artists: the Red Lake Years 1959-1980 (page 187), 2008.

Made after the 1974 original acrylic on canvas (68 x 57 inches), see literature.

Similar images exist, like Man and Snake, ca 1965 (see page 63 of Norval Morrisseau and the Emergence of The Image Makers, by McLuhan, E., & Hill, T , 1984), or Self-Portrait, Devoured by His Own Demons, 1964  (see page 121 of Norval Morrisseau, Shaman Artist by Hill, G , 2006).

1) Year not readable in embossing. Original acrilic is from 1974. I have seen no print from Great Grasslands Graphics Company later than 1979, so this print is likely made between 1974-1979.

– Page 113 (original acrylic on Canvas); Sinclair, L., & Pollock, J. (1979). The Art of  Norval Morrisseau.  Toronto, New York, London, Sydney: Methuen.
– Page 10 (original acrylic on Canvas); Anderson, J. (August 25th, 1975). Fierce Clarity and Sophistication. Time Magazine (Canadian Edition).

Info needed:
– Existance of Artist Proof(s)
– Confirmation paper size, image size and edition size
– Exact year of print
– Literature (official statements in books, magazines, exhibits, original
  promotion material)
– Additional info or reference material


Filed under: Great Grassland Graphics, Serigraph / Silkscreen,

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