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Kenojuak Ashevak: Life and Legacy

Posted in Arts & Culture, Indigenous
Jan 17, 2020 to Apr 17, 2020

Image: Kenojuak Ashevak, Oracle (detail), 1999, ink, coloured pencil on paper. Collection of West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative Ltd.

Dates: Jan. 17 - April 17, 2020
Location: College Art Gallery 1, University of Saskatchewan
Co-curated by Louisa Parr for the Kenojuak Cultural Centre and William Huffman from the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative
Talk/tour with curator William Huffman: Friday, Jan. 17 at 7 pm
Opening Reception: Friday, Jan, 17 at 7:30 pm

With a career spanning more than five decades, Kinngait / ᑭᙵᐃᑦ Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak (1927–2013) was part of a pioneering generation of Arctic creators. She enjoyed an illustrious international career and continues to be recognized as one of Canada’s preeminent Inuit artists and cultural icons. Since beginning to experiment with drawing in the 1950s, she produced a vast body of work, mainly utilizing graphite, coloured pencils and felt-tip pens on paper. Kenojuak approached her work with a strong creative intuition – her drawings emerged almost unconsciously, a process she would describe as her hand leading her mind. Ashevak's idiosyncratic style is easily recognizable, with archetypal drawings that capture images of birds, fish, bears and mystical figures; her aesthetic approach is perhaps the most recognizable of any Canadian artist.

The College Art Gallery at the University of Saskatchewan is the inaugural venue to present the national touring exhibition Kenojuak Ashevak: Life and Legacy. The exhibition presents never-before-seen drawings from the archives of the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative that inspired some of Kenojuak's most emblematic prints in stonecut lithography and etching.

An exhibition catalogue, with contributions by Leslie Boyd and Silaqi Ashevak, is published in partnership with Pomegranate Communications.

Artist's biography:
Cape Dorset Inuit artist Kenojuak Ashevak (1927–2013) continues to be recognized as one of Canada’s preeminent Inuit artists and cultural icons. Nearly every Kinngait / ᑭᙵᐃᑦ (Cape Dorset) Annual Print Release since 1959 and until her death in 2013 has featured work by Kenojuak. Her images have been exhibited throughout Canada, United States, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Sweden, South Korea and Japan, among other countries. Her work is in numerous public and private collections internationally.


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