First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 2

Lot 2

ELI SALLUALU QINUAJUA (1937-2004)

ELI SALLUALU QINUAJUA (1937-2004)
Lot 2 Details
ELI SALLUALU QINUAJUA (1937-2004)
, E9-846, Povungnituk / Puvirnituq

SEX FANTASY FIGURE, 1967

stone
signed in syllabics
3.5 x 2.5 x 2.75 in — 8.9 x 6.4 x 7 cm

Estimate $900-$1,200

Realised: $1,080
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
ELI SALLUALU QINUAJUA (1937-2004)
  • ELI SALLUALU QINUAJUA (1937-2004)
  • ELI SALLUALU QINUAJUA (1937-2004)
  • ELI SALLUALU QINUAJUA (1937-2004)
  • ELI SALLUALU QINUAJUA (1937-2004)
Provenance:

a Quebec private collection; purchased in Puvirnituq in 1967 by the current owner

Note:

Takushurnaituk translates to “things never seen before.” That was the name of the carving competition held in Puvirnituq in 1967. It was the brainchild of Nelson Graburn, a UC Berkeley anthropologist. The idea was to spark originality. The fifty carvings submitted were narrowed down to thirty-one; eleven of these had been submitted by one artist, Eli Sallualu Qinuajua (who ended up winning the contest). Sallualu spent the rest of his career carving works that have been described as fantastic, grotesque, surreal and bizarre.

Most of Sallualu’s works depict more or less demonic creatures; many look as if they had just climbed out of paintings by Hieronymous Bosch or Salvador Dali. A relatively small number have sexual content, although several of the 1967 competition entries were sexually explicit in nature. This work depicts an Inuk orally pleasuring a female frog-like creature. The owner does not recall if the carving was actually part of the competition, but it was purchased in Puvirnituq at that exact time. In any case, the work is historically important as well as charmingly bawdy and hilarious.

References: for numerous other examples of the artist’s work see George Swinton, Sculpture of the Inuit (McClelland & Stewart, 1972/92), figs. 17, 97, 205, 374-378. For a description of the 1967 carving competition in Puvirnituq see Diana Trafford, “Takushurnaituk: Povungnituk Art” in North/Nord magazine (March-April 1968) 52-55.


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CONDITION DETAILS

For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 2
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About Condition Ratings

  • 5 Stars: Excellent - No discernable damage, flaws or imperfections
  • 4 Stars: Very Good - Minor flaws or imperfections visible only under close inspection using specialised instruments or black light
  • 3 Stars: Good - Minor flaws visible upon inspection under standard lighting
  • 2 Stars: Fair - Exhibits flaws or damage that may draw the eye under standard lighting
  • 1 Star: Poor - Flaws or damage immediately apparent under standard lighting (examples: missing components, rips, broken glass, damaged surfaces, etc.)

Note: Condition ratings and condition details are the subjective opinions of our specialists and should be used as a guide only. Waddington’s uses due care when preparing condition details, however, our staff are not professional restorers or conservators. Condition details and reports are not warranties and each lot is sold “as is” in accordance with the buyer’s terms and conditions of sale. In all cases the prospective purchaser is responsible for inspecting the property themselves prior to placing a bid.