Provenance:The Peter J. Landry Collection of Inuit Art, U.S.A. Exhibited: Sugluk: Sculpture in Stone, 1953-1959, exh. cat., Art Gallery of Windsor, (Windsor, ON), 1992, illustrated with two views, pages 32 & 33, cat. no. 22. This work is accompanied by the Art Gallery of Windsor hand written exhibition label. Literature: Sugluk: Sculpture in Stone, 1953-1959, page 26 & 31. Note: Mother Sewing by Miaji (Mary) Usaitiajuk Uitangi, "emphasizes the central role of the woman in Sugluk. The sculpture represents a woman mending a child's parka with thread dried and split from caribou sinew. The arcing rhythmic thread constructs a memorable metaphor of woman as the provider and protector of her children at the center of the world." This maternal portrait of the altruistic mother and her child empathizes the significance of the role of women and reiterates the regional preference for modest scenes of daily life.
Miaiji Uitangi Usaitajuk | Mother sewing | | Alaska on Madison
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Maudie Okittuq, Raven Mother and Child, 1990-99
Stone, 5 1/2 x 3 1/4 x 3 1/4 in.
This is an exceptionally tender and finely carved work by Maudie Okittuq. Maudie is known for her fantasy figures and transformations, rendered with gusto but not particularly refined. In contrast, this elegant mother and child are beautifully rendered and finished, with one added twist: the mother and child are ravens.
Maudie Okittuq | Raven Mother and Child | 1990-99 | Alaska on Madison
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Kananginak Pootoogook, Windswept muskox
8 x 11 x 3 1/2 in.
Kananginak Pootoogook's muskoxen are legendary. He is to muskoxen what Pauta Saila is to dancing bears. Kananginak's muskox is compact, huddled against the wind, and displaying his magnificent coat. The motion in the coat makes you forget that this is carved from stone. Kananginak was not only a master carver, but also a mainstay of the Cape Dorset print workshop for decades, creating meticulously detailed portrayals of the birds and animals of Baffin Island, but also venturing into satire at times.
Kananginak Pootoogook | Windswept muskox | | Alaska on Madison
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Davidee Saumik, Sitting bear
5 1/2 x 4 x 4 in.
This is truly a small work by a great artist. The bear is about six inches high, but it is packed with energy. The bear is caught in the act of turning, and its paws are all in motion. The stone is classic old Inukjuak stone. The bear is an unusual subject for Saumik, who was known for his sculptures of mothers and children. Bears were, however, popular subjects for early Inukjuak carvers, and Darlene Wight's "Early Masters: Inuit Sculpture 1949-1955" highlights a number of sitting bears.
Davidee Saumik | Sitting bear | | Alaska on Madison
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Barnabus Arnasungaaq, Standing bear
Stone, 5 x 2 x 2 1/2 in.
Another unusual small bear by a great artist known for his carvings of people. Barnabus was one of the great masters of Baker Lake. Given the difficulty of carving small details in Baker Lake's basaltic stone, Barnabus concentrated on portraying large masses with few details. This bear, carved on a much smaller scale than most of Barnabus' works, is alert, standing and scenting the wind.
Barnabus Arnasungaaq | Standing bear | | Alaska on Madison
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Timothy Kutchaka, Swimming goose
Stone, 3 1/2 x 5 x 2 1/4 in. (8.9 x 12.7 x 5.7 cm)
An elegant example of early work from Inukjuak. Timothy Kutchaka (1924-1986) was one of the first-generation artists in Inukjuak. This modest but elegant goose is beautifully proportioned. The feathers in its wings are suggested with a few incised strokes, reminiscent of Art Deco.
Timothy Kutchaka | Swimming goose | | Alaska on Madison
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Latcholassie Akesuk, Bird-seal transformation, c. 1965
2 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 1 1/4 in. (6.3 x 13.3 x 3.2 cm)
Ex Albrecht Collection
In true Latcholassie fashion, this carving is somewhat ambiguous in appearance. Although the overall form is that of a seal, its head is decidedly bird-like. The carving’s small size and beautiful finish lend this
creature an intimate quality that is not often found in Latcholassie’s work.
Latcholassie Akesuk | Bird-seal transformation | c. 1965 | Alaska on Madison
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Audla Pee, Container in the form of a human-animal transformation, c. 1950-55
Stone, 4 x 2 x 5 1/4 in.
Provenance: Albrecht Collection of Arctic Art. In the early 1950s, when the Canadian Government was anxious to help develop a market for Inuit Art, it sponsored a [somewhat ill-advised] pamphlet, "Eskimo Handicrafts" that depicted both some genuine Inuit art and artifacts, but that also included pictures of non-Inuit objects, such as ashtrays. The purpose was to encourage the Inuit to produce similar objects. There is no other reasonable explanation for the inspiration for this altogether charming work -- a handsome human head with distinctly animal ears mounted on the front of a box suitable for business cards. Audla Pee, the carver, went on to become a prominent Cape Dorset artist, carving more traditional subject matter.
Audla Pee | Container in the form of a human-animal transformation | c. 1950-55 | Alaska on Madison
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Inuit Anonymous, Figure with crest, braid and pigeon toes
Stone, 5 x 2 3/4 x 2 1/4 in. (12.7 x 7 x 5.7 cm)
We don't know who carved this unusual transformation piece, but the sculpture speaks for itself. The stone is characteristic of 1960s Cape Dorset, and the composition is so unusual and is carved with such assurance that we suspect that it was carved by one of the master carvers of that era. In the 1960s, a number of Cape Dorset artists were carving fantastic beasts. For another example see the "dinosaur" carving. The whimsicality suggests one of the Ashoona brothers -- Kaka, Kumwartok or Kiugak -- but we will never know for sure.
Inuit Anonymous | Figure with crest, braid and pigeon toes | | Alaska on Madison
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Noah Nowrakudluk, Hunter in kayak with seal and walrus head, c. 1960-1969
Stone, 2 3/4 x 13 x 3 1/2 in. (7 x 33 x 8.9 cm)
This is a fine example of Arctic Quebec "slice of life" carvings. The hunter has had an excellent day -- a walrus head floats beside the kayak, and he carries a seal on the kayak's rear deck. Arctic Quebec artists favored subjects drawn from everyday life for their carvings, and a grouping of five or six vividly shows the range of activities in camp life.
Noah Nowrakudluk | Hunter in kayak with seal and walrus head | c. 1960-1969 | Alaska on Madison
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Axangayu Shaa, Igloo scene, 1981
Serpentine, ivory, sinew, 8 1/2 x 12 x 12 in. (21.6 x 30.5 x 30.5 cm)
The igloo is composed of separate blocks of serpentine, glued and pegged on the inside. An ivory kayak is sitting on a komatik (sled) and mounted on pegs on the side of the igloo. A frame for stretching skins and a sealskin float are also mounted on pegs. (Such items were mounted on the igloo in order to keep them away from the dogs.) In front of the igloo, a man runs to meet a woman who is carrying a pot, while three dogs wait nearby. A pair of kamiks (boots) is drying on a rack in the background. The igloo is signed by Axangayu in syllabics, and the figures are miniature versions of his larger sculptures, undoubtedly by his hand.
Axangayu Shaa | Igloo scene | 1981 | Alaska on Madison
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Luke Airut, Shaman Summoning Hunting Spirits
Bone, antler, sinew, 4 1/4 x 10 x 7 in. (10.8 x 25.4 x 17.8 cm)
Truly a tour de force, this elaborate scene is carved from a single walrus jaw bone. The large drum dancer in the center is flanked by a smaller drum dancer and a hunter, with a polar bear and a beluga on one end, and a bowhead whale and another beluga on the other end. The drums and drum beaters are carved separately, but all of the other figures comprise one integrated composition. Nothing is pegged. The delicacy of the carving has to be seen to be believed.
Luke Airut | Shaman Summoning Hunting Spirits | | Alaska on Madison
Mattiusi Iyaituk's work is characterized by beautiful stone embodying Mattiusi's conceptual sculptures. Simply put, this is a sculpture about starvation, an all-too-real possibility when Mattiusi was growing up on the land. Provenance: Wagonfeld Collection; Spirit Wrestler Gallery
Exhibited and published: Spirit Wrestler Gallery, The Freedom to Dream: The sculpture of Mattiusi Iyaituk (2000) cat. 37; Loveland Museum Gallery, Survival: Inuit Art (2004) p. 39.
Mattiusi Iyaituk | Empty Stomach Craving Caribou Meat | | Alaska on Madison
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Inuit Anonymous, Fantasy creature
Serpentine, 9 x 6 x 3 in.
I jokingly call this my "Inuit stegosaurus," but in fact it is a fantasy creature by an unknown artist. In the 1960's many Cape Dorset artists experimented with fanciful creatures, and this appears to be one of the results. The style is highly reminiscent of Latcheolassie Akesuk's minimalist carvings, but the piece is not signed and we cannot attribute it to any particular artist. It is guaranteed to bring a smile to your face.
Inuit Anonymous | Fantasy creature | | Alaska on Madison
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Manasie Akpaliapik, Revenge, 1996
Whalebone, antler, 35 1/2 x 20 x 20 in. (90.2 x 50.8 x 50.8 cm)
SOLD. This is a masterpiece of whalebone carving, by Manassie Akpaliapik, probably the premier Inuit artist working in whalebone. Titled "Revenge," the principal figure is animated by intense feeling. Hidden within the work, however, are a majestic eagle, a hawk swooping in to land, a caribou (the main figure holds the caribou antler) and several other figures.
Manasie Akpaliapik | Revenge | 1996 | Alaska on Madison
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