Saturday, December 22, 2007

Geo. Morrison's Lake Superior Driftwood Sculpture

Title:Collage IX: Landscape
Artist:George Morrison
Dimensions:60 1/8 x 168 1/2 x 3 in. (152.72 x 427.99 x 7.62 cm)
Creation Place:North America, United States, Great Lakes/Woodlands region.

George Morrison
(Grand Portage Band of Chippewa)
Contemporary artist George Morrison is recognized as one of the most significant 20th-century Native American painters.

Born in 1919 on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation near Grand Marais, Minnesota, Morrison went on to study with the New York Art Students League and in France with support from a Fulbright scholarship. He later returned to his homeland, where he rediscovered his Anishinaabe roots. Morrison found the north shore of Lake Superior especially inspiring. He once described this personal journey as a "search for my own reality; I seek the power of the rock, the magic of the water, the religion of the tree, the color of the wind and the enigma of the horizon."

He envisioned the horizon of Lake Superior to be "the edge of the world," and in 1967began to focus artistically on the horizon line, which he described as "more of an obsession." He confided, "I have been using it ever since, as a focal point, to identify the landscape."

In 1970 Morrison began teaching art at the University of Minnesota, where he too produced numerous outstanding young Native and non-Native artists. He never stopped learning, exploring nature and venturing forward through his paintings. Most of his later life he spent painting back home in northern Minnesota. He walked a lot around the surrounding area and once revealed, "There is a spirituality in the landscape at my studio in Grand Portage: the water and the air and the atmosphere. All those elements are coming into me from what I see. I'm not looking at it like I'm painting it. But all of these things are in my mind. It is alive and it changes by the hour. Perhaps that very thing has been transplanted into my head, and then I'm transforming that onto the canvas." To read more of this excerpt comparing Morrison with Southwest Native American artist, Hauser,click here.

He was married to Hazel Belvo, another Minnesota artist, who taught at Minneapolis College of Art and Design and Saint Paul Academy and is known for her series of pieces based on the Witch Tree. Morrison passed away in Grand Marais.


  1. thank you for this detailed post! Very informative!

    Budapest Daily Photo

  2. Happy Solstice and Congratulations on your husband's retirement! Does this mean you'll be spending more time in Mazatlan again?

  3. Amazing sculpture!

    Just stopping by to wish to you and your family a HAPPY CHRISTMAS and a WONDERFUL NEW YEAR!

  4. The colors and textures in this sculpture are wonderful. Kate, happy holidays and best wishes for the holiday season to you and your family.

  5. Happy Solstice from me, too!
    The wood sculpture is amazing.

  6. Great post. Merry Christmas Kate.

  7. I like it! I love the texture and the amazing details on it.

  8. Insomniacs unite to rule the world (at night)!!

  9. Anonymous4:30 AM

    Two days to go.

    I like your photography on this piece, Kate. You captured a lot of the details. Nice photograph.

  10. His work is very different. Its the age of the indigenous peoples! Very best wishes for the festive season!

  11. Dear Kate, thank you for the lovely visit today to TDP with lovely wishes and for nice and kind comments throughout the year.
    Hope you have a great oncoming holidays and wish you and your family all the best in the New Year!
    Jazzy xx

  12. Thanks Kate for visiting throughout this year, I wish you and your family Happy Holidays and a great and prosperous new year!

  13. WOW! What a neat, cool piece.


  14. Kate, I send you blessings for joy and warmth and comfort and peace in your heart now and all throughout 2008. See you soon. Annie

  15. This is wonderful Kate, thanks for sharing this with us. The texture, shadowing and intricacy of design are amazing.

  16. This is neat. Merry Christmas.

  17. It looks so much like a landscape from a plane, but the wood gives the entire spectacle such warmth.

    Merry Christmas Kate and thank you for your visits to my blog. Look forward to the new year for more of the same. Happy holidays.

  18. comme je ne pourrais pas revenir sur ton blog aujourd'hui, je te souhaite un JOYEUX NOEL

    As I could not go back on your blog today, I wish you a MERRY CHRISTMAS

  19. What a beautiful piece of art.

    Kate, I wish you the best of Christmases and thankyou for your photographs and commentaries through the year - and also for visiting Menton and Monte Carlo DP.

    Happy Christmas!

  20. Anonymous7:00 AM

    Yes, Kate, the mush and eggs picture is disgusting, but I spared you the mashed together images. For that reason, I didn't like my father's breakfasts either and turned up my nose but then the taste is wonderful.

    Thanks, Kate for your visits.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  21. Anonymous7:02 AM

    Beautiful art and concept! And I didn't know there is a Grand Marais, MN as well as MI. :)

  22. wishing you and your family the love, blessings, and warmest cheers of the holidays. mErRy ChRiStMaS!!!

    i heart manila

  23. what a stunning piece of art, and the accompanying tory is very interesting. I love seeing your local artworks.

  24. we visited the mia last week to see the o'keefe show, and i ended up standing in front of this sculpture amazed at what morrison did with simple pieces of wood. thanks.


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