Saturday, April 21, 2007

More Inuit sculpture

Peter Inukshuk (1896-1975), 1969

Giving up on the internet as a source for Inuit sculpture (too tourist-trap commercial),
I went to the art library today -- and browsed 10 books on the subject.


It didn't get much better -- it just got more clumsy
(or more authentically primitive ?)

To my surprise,
nothing I saw was older than 1950,
and I read that it was only in 1948
that concerned parties began to market Eskimo art
as in income opportunity for these cash-starved arctic villages.

(note: this coincides with the artworld's discovery of Haitian painting,
from another desperately poor (but warmer) corner of the world)

The ones I'm showing here are the ones I liked.

Isa Aqiattusuk Smiler (1921-1986), 1954

There seems to be a kind of magical moment,
when the carver forgets about cutting stone,
and the inner momentum of the shapes takes over.

Josiah Nuilaalik, 1963

99 out of a 100 never get there,
but when someone does,
he or she is just as good
as any sculptor
from the great civilizations
to the south

George Tataniq. 1963

It's that inner life that determines
when to keep a line unbroken,
and where to break a plane

George Tataniq, 1963

Aisapik Quma Igauja (1915-1979), 1961

Some sculptors need to keep things simple,
to keep them under control,
so they're almost like potters.

Can't you hear this bird singing?

Allie Appaqaq (1915-1976), 1960

Very few can elegantly handle a full human figure,
but it's sure sweet when they do.

(actually, this is two figures - if you count the intrepid seal)

Miriam Qiyuk (1933- ), 1987

Miriam Qiyuk (1933- ), 1975

This woman is one of the better known contemporaries.
She's found in many galleries, museum exhibitions, and even the NY Times,
and seems to come up with scenes
that are both beautiful and endearing.

Toona Iqulik (1935- ), 1978

She certainly is watching her volumes and silhouettes, isn't she ?

Just like an older contemporary from Vienna,
did in the following drawing:

(I just had to show this fine drawing by
Gustinus Ambrosi
that probably should have gone
into the last post)


Blogger Robert said...


Inuit sculpture is like African in the use of subject matter and its unique style. I am intrigued by it from an academic point of view.

Now here is a strange subject!
I think it must be an Emanuel Fremiet . This guy was somewhat bizarre as this is not the only work he did dealing with this subject see here:
Wikipedia have a picture of his famous work here:

April 24, 2007  
Blogger chris miller said...

Thanks for the link to Fremiet --- one website claims that his statue of the ape-abducting-the-woman was once on display at the American Museum of Natural History --- while another claims that the statue was given to the museum, but never put on display.

Fremiet's joke-art was ahead of its time, wasn't it ?

April 24, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Certainly a way of puting it Chris!

I just wonder where the photos of this work are.

April 25, 2007  

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