Abstract Painting

White Painting No. 1, 1965

Artist George Morrison (Wah Wah Teh Go Nay Ga Bo, Standing In the Northern Lights)
(Ojibwe, 1919 - 2000)
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 50.5” x 50.5”


Perhaps the best known Native Abstract Expressionist, George Morrison was a member of the Grand Portage Band of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe and was born near the Grand Portage Indian Reservation. He actively contributed to the New York art scene in the 1940s and 1950s, exhibiting with Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline and others. He became well known for his abstract landscape paintings and driftwood collages. In the mid-1960s, Morrison began his White Painting series including MoCNA’s White Painting No.1 and White Environ VI, which are characterized by their remarkable tactility and white as a unifying factor, applied on layers of different colors of paint. Until his retirement in 1983, Morrison taught in Minneapolis, Duluth, Dayton, Ohio at the Dayton Art Institute, Ithaca (Cornell University), the Rhode Island School of Design, Pennsylvania (Penn State), Iowa State Teachers College, New York City and finally at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.