Synopses & Reviews
A broad-ranging retrospective on the transformation of Inuit art in the twentieth century, Inuit Modern features more than 175 works by seventy-five Inuit artists including Kenojuak Ashevak, Karoo Ashevak, David Ruben Piqtoukun, Annie Pootoogook and Lucy Tasseor, among others from one of the worlds most comprehensive privately held collections of Inuit art: the Samuel and Esther Sarick Collection.
In response to new thinking about the North, Inuit Modern considers how Inuit have dealt with the swift transition from a traditional lifestyle to the current disturbing complexities of globalization and climate change. It describes how Inuit art reflects the reciprocal stimulus of contact with Euro-Canadians, and concurrently analyzes the birth and evolution of a modernist Inuit aesthetic that springs from an ancient cultural context and, through acculturation, has created an exciting new hybridized art form.
Five leading experts on Inuit art have contributed essays: Robert McGhee looks at the ancient archaeological period in which Inuit lived off the land; Dorothy Harley Eber presents the history of relations between Inuit and Europeans; Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad, Christine Lalonde and Heather Igloliorte focus on the second half of the twentieth century, the time when processes of transition from traditional to modern reached their zenith. Ingo Hessel, the co-curator, introduces each full-colour plate section, providing a lively and insightful context for the artwork.
The Inuit voice is a critical component of Inuit Modern, complementing the scholarly essays. In their interviews, artists Zacharias Kunuk and David Ruben Piqtoukun offer the perspective of Inuit in the twenty-first century. Poems by the beloved writer Alootook Ipellie and quotes from Inuit artists appear throughout the book.
About the Author
Gerald McMaster is the Fredrik S. Eaton Curator of Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Ontario.