Respected and prolific Kenojuak Ashevak is one of Canada’s most famous artists.
Ashevak’s work encompasses over fifty years of art including sculpture, thousands of drawings, and approximately 200 prints.
Kenojuak’s subject matter includes landscapes, scenes from traditional Inuit life, and animals – most familiar of which are her stylized birds. All are illuminated with her joyful colour play and detailed decorative style.
In her artwork Kenojuak’s subjects are vehicles for her explorations of colour and design. Her images tend to be “static” with their energy originating in their dynamic colour and decorative elements rather than by a movement depicted within the print or drawing. As one writer comments her “animal shapes [are] vessels for her explorations of line, color and positive and negative space.” Her work’s vivacity and exuberance captures the hearts of collectors and the public alike.
Kenojuak Ashevak became one of the first Inuit women in Cape Dorset to begin drawing. She worked in graphite, coloured pencils and felt-tip pens, and occasionally used poster paints, watercolours or acrylics. She created many carvings from soapstone and thousands of drawings, etchings, stonecut prints and prints — all sought after by museums and collectors.
Kenojuak designed several drawings for Canadian stamps and coins, and in 2004 she created the first Inuit-designed stained-glass window for the John Bell Chapel in Oakville, Ontario. In 2017, the $10 bill released in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday features Kenojuak’s stone-cut and stencil printed work called “Owl’s Bouquet” in silver holographic foil. Kenojuak is the first Inuit artist to have work on a Canadian banknote. Dorset Fine Arts provided a studio proof for the Bank of Canada’s permanent collection.
Waddington’s is internationally recognized as one of the leading authorities in marketing Inuit Art. No other auction house has been as intrinsically linked to the development of a market for this art form. From our first landmark auction in 1978 of the William Eccles Collection, Waddington’s has offered thousands of works, set record prices, and expanded the market well beyond Canada’s borders. Our legacy of successful Inuit Art auctions, our ability to achieve continually increasing values and our creation of an international market have been key factors in validating Inuit art as a whole and establishing it as an integral part of the Canadian Art scene.