NORVAL MORRISSEAU, C.M. (1931-2007) ANISHINAABE Untitled (Bear), 1978 graphite on paper, 9 x 12 in (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
signed in syllabics, "ᐅᓴᐘᐱᑯᐱᓀᓯ"; inscribed by the artist in pencil, "To Jerry [sic]".
ESTIMATE: $500 — $800
New Price: $380
Gift of the artist to Mr. Gerry Moses, Toronto;
bequest by Mr. Gerry Moses to a Private collection, Toronto;
Estate of the above.
The bear features prominently in Morisseau’s works throughout his artistic career. In Legends of My People: The Great Ojibway, Morrisseau explains that, “The Midaywewin  Society of the Ojibway held [the bear] to be sacred. Legend states that the bear was at one time in the early history of the Ojibway a human, or had human form” . In the 1973 documentary The Paradox of Norval Morrisseau, the artist recounted his experience on a vision quest taken in youth under the direction of his grandfather. Morrisseau remarked that on this occasion, his encounter with a sacred bear changed his life .
1. Also Midewiwin or Grand Medicine Society 2. Norval Morrisseau (Selwyn Dewdney, ed.), Legends of My People: The Great Ojibway, [Toronto: Ryerson Press, 1965, p. 39]
3. Carmen L. Robertson, Mythologizing Norval Morrisseau: Art and the Colonial Narrative in the Canadian Media, [Mantioba: Univ. of Manitoba Press, 2016], p.12