Modern Spirit: The Art of George Morrison

Opens Feb. 14: Wrapping up a two-year, five-state tour, “Modern Spirit” will showcase about 80 paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture spanning the 60-year career of one of Minnesota’s more distinguished artists. Born in a fishing village near Lake Superior, Morrison (1919-2000) graduated from Grand Marais High School and then won top honors at what is now the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He worked and exhibited in New York and Paris in the 1950s and taught at the Rhode Island School of Design and the University of Minnesota before settling in a home overlooking Lake Superior on the Grand Portage Indian Reservation. He expressed his reverence for the lake and his deep roots in Ojibwe culture through wooden mosaics and vividly colored, nearly abstract paintings. His modernist sensibility won international admiration and influenced younger American Indian artists. His 1952 ink drawing “Black and White Patterned Forms,” shown here, is on loan from the Minnesota Museum of American Art in St. Paul, which helped organize the exhibit. (Feb. 14-April 26. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Tuesdays; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Saturdays; noon-5 p.m. Sundays. $11 adults. Minnesota History Center, 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul. 651-259-3000, www.mnhs.org.)