PITSEOLAK NIVIAQSI R.C.A. (1947-2015), E7-1081, Cape Dorset / Kinngait
WOMAN HOLDING HER BRAID
signed in syllabics, c. 1998-99
12 x 7 x 9 in — 30.5 x 17.8 x 22.9 cm
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Pitseolak Niviaqsi was the son of the renowned sculptor and graphic artist Niviaqsi (1908-1959) and the graphic artist Kunu (1923-1966). Trained as a lithographer in the early 1970s, Pitseolak became one of the Kinngait Studio’s master printmakers, working on hundreds of Cape Dorset prints between 1975 and 2011. He is equally famous for his sculptures, many of which depict female subjects including young women, mothers and children, and the sea goddess. In the catalogue referenced below Nigel Reading wrote: “The art of Pitseolak exudes an elegance and refinement now rare in Inuit sculpture.” Woman Holding her Braid is a beautiful example of his work. It is masterfully carved but not showy or flashy; while fairly large it has the sensibility of a smaller, more intimate work.
References: the best introduction to this artist’s sculpture is Spirit Wrestler Gallery, The Lyrical World of Pitseolak Niviaqsi (Vancouver, 2001). For similarly themed works by the artist see Derek Norton and Nigel Reading, Cape Dorset Sculpture (Douglas & McIntyre, 2007) p. 38; Marion Scott Gallery, Inspiration (1995) cat. 17.
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