ANNIE POOTOOGOOK "SKINNING", 2004
Annie Pootoogook (1969-2016) was a Canadian artist renowned for her figurative artwork depicting contemporary Inuit life in Northern Canada. A pioneering visual storyteller, her artworks encouraged an important shift in the national consciousness towards contemporary Inuit art and life.
Pootoogook's grandmother (Pitseolak Ashoona) and mother (Napachie Pootoogook) were both prolific and highly respected Inuit artists. Pitseolak Ashoona was one of the first Inuit artists to experiment with the medium of drawing as Inuit communities transitioned from their previous settlements into permanent communities in Northern Canada, where Pootgootook would be raised.
In 1997, Annie Pootoogook began drawing and became a third-generation female Inuit artist. Within a decade she received widespread acclaim for her singular artistic vision. Her distinct drawings depict her own experiences of contemporary Inuit life in Kinngait (previously Cape Dorset), Nunavut. Pootoogook's work offers an unfiltered and unique glimpse into a community rarely depicted in contemporary art.
Challenging notions of traditional Inuit art, Pootoogook colorfully chronicled her life and community from the simple or universal (cooking, watching tv, waiting in line at an ATM) to emotional (relationships, sexuality, spousal abuse, intergenerational trauma, addiction, death). Her art focuses on showcasing domestic life, female gender roles, hardships faced by Northern communities, and the impact of consumerism and technology affecting Inuit communities.
Like her mother and grandmother, Pootgootook worked in the Inuit tradition of sulijuk, which means "it is true''. This tradition emphasizes depicting truthful or lived experiences rather than pursuing the avant-garde or trends.
Interior domestic settings, specifically showcasing food preparation and female domestic life, are among Pootoogook's best-known imagery.
"Skinning" exemplifies Pootoogook's artistic vision and output. In this simplistic drawing, a mother and child are captured in a tender exchange as they prepare a meal. The pair sits on the floor while the mother butchers a piece of meat over a piece of cardboard. An ode to tradition, the woman uses an Inuit ulu, a traditional multi-purpose knife typically used by women.
Throughout her career, Pootoogook was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. In 2006 Pootoogook achieved the remarkable milestone of becoming the first Inuit artist to win the Sobey Art Award. The following year her work was shown at the Montreal Biennale and documenta 12 in Kassel, Germany. Her works are highly sought after by collectors and are in the permanent collections of the National Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).
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Ink, pencil crayon, pencil on paper
Signed Dorset Fine Arts / West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative (WBEC) embossed logo
29.75"H 41.5"W (work)
Very good condition
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