Norval Morrisseau (Copper Thunderbird) is arguably the most influential Indigenous artist in Canada, commonly referred to as the founder of the Woodlands style. After spending $20,000 at a reputable Toronto gallery to purchase Spirit Energy of Mother Earth, Kevin Hearn (of the Barenaked Ladies) was surprised to discover his Morrisseau canvas was a counterfeit. His decision to sue the art dealer spurs an investigation into the painting’s provenance, and so begins the unravelling of an art fraud ring with fighting factions, all claiming to be the true protectors of the Anishinaabe painter’s legacy—and all of whom happen to be white. Dealers, investors, experts and artists vigorously defend their interests in a search for truth where culture and commerce collide. Questions of authenticity, appropriation and exploitation underlay a devastating story about a visionary artist caught between worlds. As the legal case proceeds, shocking new revelations emerge, detailing damages that spread far beyond the canvas.
April 29, 6:00 PM (closed captions)
TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 350 King Street West
May 1, 8:15 PM (closed captions)
Scotiabank Theatre Toronto 3, 259 Richmond Street West