George Morrison (artist)
Chippewa City, Cook County, Minnesota
|Died||2000 (aged 80–81)|
Red Rock, near Grand Marais, Minnesota
|Occupation||Abstract Expressionist Painter and Sculptor|
He is well known for wood collage sculptures and for the landscape paintings he preferred.
Early life and education
Morrison is of Chippewa ancestry. He was born in 1919 on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation near Chippewa City, Cook County, Minnesota. He attended Grand Marais High School, graduating in 1938, and then the Minnesota School of Art, now the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, graduating in 1943.
Having been chosen to receive the Van Derlip Traveling Scholarship, Morrison studied at the Art Students League from 1943 to 1946 in New York City, where he became part of a circle of abstract expressionists.
He lived in Duluth, Minnesota for years and then moved back to New York City in 1954 where he became acquainted with prominent American expressionists: Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and Jackson Pollock.
In 1969 he was awarded an Honorary Master of Fine Arts at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
He lived in a renovated church in Saint Paul, Minnesota with his son Briand and his wife, 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.
During the mid-1970s, they acquired land near Grand Portage, Minnesota on Lake Superior, which they named Red Rock. This became their home and studio. He and Belvo divorced in 1991 but remained friends. Morrison suffered some life-threatening illnesses but kept on working until he died at Red Rock in April 2000.
Selected solo exhibitions
- 1948-1960: Grand Central Moderns Gallery - New York City, NY
- 1949: Hart Gallery - Duluth, MN
- 1950: Ed Weiner Gallery - Provincetown, MA
- 1954: University of Minnesota - Duluth, MN
- 1955: Shorter College - Rome, GA
- 1957: University of Georgia - Athens, GA
- 1960: Dayton Art Institute - Dayton, OH
- 1961: State College of Iowa (now known as the University of Northern Iowa) - Cedar Falls, IA
- 1962: Cornell University - Ithaca, NY; Antioch College - Yellow Springs, OH
- 1967: Academy of Fine Arts - Lynchburg, VA
- 1973-1974: George Morrison: Drawings, traveling exhibition: Walker Art Center - Minneapolis, MN; Heard Museum - Phoenix, AZ; Art Museum of South Texas - Corpus Christi, TX; Amon Carter Museum of Western Art (now known as the Amon Carter Museum of American Art) - Fort Worth, TX
- 1976: Minneapolis Institute of Arts - Minneapolis, MN; Bethel College - Saint Paul, MN
- 1978: Macalester College - Saint Paul, MN; University of Wisconsin–Stout - Menomonie, WI; Carl N. Gorman Museum, University of California - Davis, CA
- 1983: University of Minnesota - University Art Museum, Minneapolis, MN
- 1984: "George Morrison: Paper Collages," Tweed Museum of Art - University of Minnesota, Duluth, MN;
- 1987-1988: "Horizon: Small Painting Series 1980-87," Minnesota Museum of American Art - St. Paul, MN
- 1990: "Standing in the Northern Lights: George Morrison, A retrospective," circ., Tweed Museum of Art - University of Minnesota, Duluth and the Minnesota Museum of Art, St Paul, MN.
- 1998: "Morrison's Horizon," Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minnesota Artists Exhibition Program, Minneapolis, MN
- 2010: "From the Minnesota Museum of American Art", Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis, Minnesota
- 2013–2014: Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison, traveling solo retrospective curated by the Minnesota Museum of American Art - Plains Art Museum, Fargo, ND; National Museum of the American Indian, George Gustav Heye Center; Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art; Heard Museum; Minnesota History Center
- Riddle, Mason (January 30, 2010). "An appreciation of George Morrison, a brilliant local artist who hung out with Jackson Pollock, who taught at Cornell and RISD, and who happened to be Native". Twin Cities Daily Planet. Retrieved January 30, 2010.
- H. H. Arnason, History of Modern Art: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Photography. 3rd ed. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1986.
- Joseph Bruchac, The Heye Center Opens in Manhattan with Three Exhibitions of Native Arts, (Smithsonian v25 n7 p. 40–49 Oct 1994) ISSN 0037-7333 OCLC 93642777
- William Rubin, "Arshile Gorky, Surrealism and the New American Painting," In Henry Geldzahler, New York painting and sculpture: 1940–1970, (New York, Dutton 1969.) OCLC 45703 pp. 372–402
- W. Jackson Rushing, Native American art and the New York avant-garde : a history of cultural primitivism, (Austin : University of Texas Press, 1995.) ISBN 0-292-75547-3, ISBN 978-0-292-75547-5
- Marika Herskovic, American Abstract Expressionism of the 1950s An Illustrated Survey, (New York School Press, 2003.) ISBN 0-9677994-1-4
- Smithsonian Institution Research Information System; Archival, Manuscript and Photographic Collections, George Morrison
- W. Jackson Rushing III, Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison. Norman: University of Oklahoma, 2013. ISBN 978-0-806-14393-4.
- George Morrison in MNopedia, the Minnesota Encyclopedia
- Minneapolis Institute of Arts (n.d.). "works of George Morrison". Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- Ask ART (2004). "George Morrison". Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- Archuleta, Margaret, The Heard Museum, The White House (n.d.). "Twentieth Century American Sculpture - Exhibit VI: Red Totem (1980)". Retrieved 2007-01-19.
- The Minnesota Museum of American Art (n.d.). "Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison". Retrieved 2013-10-09.
- Art and Life of George Morrison: A "Beyond The Book" Special. PBS. Retrieved April 5, 2015.