ANDY MIKI (1918-1983), E1-436, Eskimo Point / Arviat
signed in syllabics
5 x 7 x 2 in — 12.7 x 17.8 x 5.1 cm
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Andy Miki was a member of the inland Ennadai Lake Ihalmiut group of Caribou Inuit that included the future artists Elizabeth Nutaraaluk, Luke Anowtalik and his wife Mary Ayaq, Miki’s wife Mary Kahootsuak, and his brother Luke Hallauk. Miki’s family was resettled in Whale Cove in the mid 1960s, and he began carving there before locating back to Eskimo Point (now Arviat) in 1969. This work was carved either towards the end of his stay in Whale Cove or shortly after his return to Eskimo Point.
Regarded as one of the two great “minimalist” Arviat artists along with his colleague John Pangnark, Miki carved animal figures exclusively. Like Pangnark’s early carvings, Miki’s early works are fairly representational. We have no trouble identifying Resting Bird as such; the bird’s body is fully formed although abstracted to the point that it is difficult to identify the species. In the bird’s subtle angularity we already see hints of Miki’s later style which, with its radical stylization and simplification, makes his animal figures very much more ambiguous in form and meaning.
Reference: for a similar bird by Miki see Walker’s May 2013, Lot 29.
First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction www.firstarts.ca
a Hamilton private collection