First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art

May 28, 2019

LOT 33

Lot 33

JOHN PANGNARK (1920-1980)

JOHN PANGNARK (1920-1980)
Lot 33 Details
JOHN PANGNARK (1920-1980), E1-104, Eskimo Point / Arviat


signed in syllabics
3.75 x 4 x 6 in — 9.5 x 10.2 x 15.2 cm

Estimate $3,000-$5,000

Realised: $4,320
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
JOHN PANGNARK (1920-1980)
  • JOHN PANGNARK (1920-1980)
  • JOHN PANGNARK (1920-1980)
  • JOHN PANGNARK (1920-1980)
  • JOHN PANGNARK (1920-1980)

a Quebec private collection; purchased in Arviat in 1968 by the current owner


This superb abstract sculpture by Pangnark was purchased at the same time as his Figure with Raised Arms (Lot 31). Just as that sublime little work is an experiment in distillation of essential form and content, this larger sculpture is very much a radical experiment in abstraction and geometry. This fact is vital to the understanding the genius of this Arviat master. In 1968 Pangnark was an experimenter, an inventor of new forms, a pioneer. His achievements are no less than those of Picasso or Brancusi in Paris.

Carve a human figure so that it resembles the head of an axe. Leave a hint of a hand, the traces of a face, the intimation of a parka hood. What do you have? Something entirely new. Angles, planes, curves, volumes. And yet still a figure. Outstanding.

References: for numerous other works by Pangnark from the same period see George Swinton’s Sculpture of the Inuit (McClelland & Stewart, 1972/92), figs. 56, 615-624. A somewhat later figure (1974) in the Sarick Collection at the AGO has a similarly pronounced backward lean (see Ingo Hessel, Inuit Art: An Introduction, p. 126).

First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction


For condition information please contact the specialist.

LOT 33

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.