Shaman Stories

Norval Morrisseau and Abraham Anghik Ruben

Abraham Anghik Ruben, Raven Creation, 2002. Brazilian soapstone, jade. 57.2 x 45.7 x 27.9 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Gift of Ian and Vivian Reid, 2010-65. Photo: Ernest Mayer

APRIL 30-SEPT 30, 2018

Shaman Stories brings together the work of two highly influential artists for whom the human and spirit worlds, and the messengers who navigate those worlds-shamans-loom large.

Norval Morrisseau (1931-2007) played a crucial role in the development of contemporary Indigenous art in Canada. The six works by Morrisseau in this exhibition highlight the artist's unique transcription of sacred Anishinaabe visual storytelling in paint, on canvas. His acrylic tableaus incorporate bright modern colours and heavy black lines, creating compositions that suggest radical interconnectedness between people, spirits, animals, and worlds.

The contemporary Inuit sculptor, Abraham Anghik Ruben (b. 1951), likewise uses his work to express interconnection between the natural and spirit worlds. His carvings often comprise a complex and multifaceted weave of faces and features, capturing moments of metamorphosis. A gifted storyteller, Ruben's shamanic art works contain and relay important cultural narratives about creation, death, rebirth, and the continuous transformation of one form of being into another.

Curated by Dr. Stephen Borys 

Norval Morrisseau, Unity, 1985. acrylic on canvas. 126 x 89.5 cm. Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Gift of The Eric Sprott Family, 2017-28. Photo: Ernest Mayer

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