INUIT EX­AM­PLES

On May 16 Walker’s Auc­tions will of­fer 300 Inuit and First Na­tions works of art.

Native American Art - - AUCTIONS -

On May 16 Walker’s Auc­tions will of­fer 300 Inuit and First Na­tions works of art.

At Ot­tawa, On­tario-based Walker’s Auc­tions’ Inuit and First Na­tions art auc­tion on May 16, ap­prox­i­mately 300 ex­am­ples of his­toric and con­tem­po­rary North Amer­i­can Na­tive art in a va­ri­ety of medi­ums will be avail­able.

“The term con­tem­po­rary is a mov­ing tar­get when it comes to these kinds of works,” Ingo Hes­sel, Walker’s head of Inuit and First Na­tions Art, ex­plains. “It re­ally de­pends on the com­mu­nity, be­cause the modern style didn’t be­gin across the Cana­dian Arc­tic all at the same time. It be­gan in Arc­tic Que­bec in the late 1950s and spread through­out the rest of Canada through­out the ’60s. So what is con­sid­ered an early piece de­pends on the com­mu­nity.”

A Ka­roo Ashe­vak whale­bone fig­ure, from 1972 to 1973, is ex­pected to bring in USD$28,000 to USD$40,000. Ashe­vak came from the Cen­tral Arc­tic, one of the last places to be­gin carv­ing in the late 1960s and early ’70s, so the sculp­ture is a rel­a­tively early ex­am­ple for the re­gion. “He’s con­sid­ered to be one of the most in­ven­tive and imag­i­na­tive Inuit sculp­tors,” Hes­sel says. “His sculp­tures sparked quite a flurry of in­ter­est when they first ap­peared, but Ashe­vak died in a house fire in 1975, so his ca­reer was short but spec­tac­u­lar.”

A large Jessie Oonark wall hang­ing is es­ti­mated at USD$48,000 to USD$64,000. Fa­mous for her hang­ings, Oonark’s work is marked by vi­brant col­ors, sym­me­try and lay­er­ing of the com­po­si­tion. She of­ten did not stick to rec­tan­gu­lar pieces of cloth, and this par­tic­u­lar work has a dis­tinct dou­ble-igloo shape.

Joe Talirunili’s Boat with Hunter and Dogs is a unique ex­am­ple of the artist’s prized boat sculp­tures, es­ti­mated at USD$48,000 to USD$64,000. His boats are based on per­sonal sto­ries of dis­as­ters at sea, and is un­usual be­cause of the jux­ta­po­si­tion of hu­mans and an­i­mals.

Other works cross­ing the block in­clude a circa 1900 ca­noe sculp­ture by an uniden­ti­fied Haida artist, es­ti­mated at USD$8,000 to USD$12,000, and Anishi­naabe pain­ter Nor­val Mor­ris­seau’s Leg­endary An­i­mals, which is ex­pected to fetch USD$4,000 to USD$6,400.

1. Jessie Oonark (Inuit,

1906-1985), Un­ti­tled, ca. 1975, wool stroud, felt, and em­broi­dery floss, 38½ x 103" Es­ti­mate: $48/64,000 (CDN$60/90,000) 1

2. Haida Model Ca­noe, ca. 1900, wood and pig­ment, 5½ x 19 x 14" Es­ti­mate: $8/12,000 (CDN$10/15,000) 2

3. Joe Talirunili (Inuit,

1893-1976), Boat with Hunters and Dogs, ca. 1967-68, stone and ivory, 4 x 9½ x 4" Es­ti­mate: $48/64,000 (CDN$60/90,000) 3

4

4. Ka­roo Ashe­vak (Inuit,

1940-1974), Fig­ure, ca. 1972-73, whale­bone and in­lay, 17 x 14½ x 11½" Es­ti­mate: $28/40,000 (CDN$35/50,000)

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