June 29 – July 17, 2019
RECENT WORKS FROM KINNGAIT STUDIOS, CAPE DORSET, NUNAVUT
Often referred to as “the epicenter of Inuit art,” Cape Dorset has received global recognition for its annually-released collection of limited-edition prints since its founding of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative in 1959. Though this year marks the 60th anniversary of the organization’s celebrated print collection, curator Claire Foussard has instead chosen to highlight the original drawings and stone sculptures of nine artists currently living and working in Cape Dorset: Saimaiyu Akesuk, Ningiusuaq Ashoona, Pootoogook Jaw, Mathewsie Oshutsiaq, Palaya Qiatsuq, Jamesie Pitseolak, Ooloosie Saila, Nicotye Samayualie, and Padloo Samayualie. With this selection, Foussard hopes to “subvert and expand the public’s perception of Inuit art and what it means to be Inuit in the 21st century.”
Two highlights of the show include artists Ningiusuaq Ashoona and Padloo Samayualie. Ashoona is the sole female sculptor currently working for the WBEC. Masterfully carving with locally-sourced marble and serpentinite, each of her eleven works in this exhibition address the fluidity in movement of shamans between the three realms of Inuit cosmology: spirit, dead, and living. Samayualie is celebrated for her unique representation of industrial architecture through drawing. Many of the fourteen drawings included in the exhibition were based on her impressions of New York during her residency at the Brooklyn Museum in 2016. ᐅᓪᓗᒥ (ullumi) will be the first time this body of work is displayed in a New York City gallery.
The exhibition’s title ᐅᓪᓗᒥ (ullumi), means “today” in the Inuktitut dialect spoken in Central and Eastern Arctic Canada. Says Foussard, “asserting the validity of these artists as contemporary makers whose work is fundamentally Inuit not because it appears to fit Western notions of the Eskimo, but because it is created by an Inuk artist.”