KAROO ASHEVAK (1940-1974), E4-196, Spence Bay
BIRD GUARDING NEST OF EGGS
signed in syllabics
17.75" x 11" x 11" — 45.1 x 27.9 x 27.9 cm.
This whimsical depiction of a bird protecting its nest contains all of the elements of a classic Karoo sculpture. Characteristic of the artist’s work, this piece includes separate components. Karoo enjoyed making parts that fit together, floated freely or dangled from sinew. He often included pegged on appendages or bird’s eggs clustered in their own separate nest, as seen here. His unique sculptures are made primarily of fossilized whalebone. It is a difficult material to work with, as it is an extremely hard yet delicate substance. Karoo mastered this challenging medium. Many of his sculptures were said to emulate his personality, which was exuberant, humourous, spiritual and full of enthusiasm. Some of his depictions of birds - a subject he loved to carve - appear throughout his exhibition catalogues. The most similar to this work are referenced below.
Karoo Ashevak, Spirits: Fifteen whalebone carvings, Judy McGrath, American Indian Arts Center: New York, 1973, Image pl. 2, 8, 12
Karoo Ashevak, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Jean Blodgett, 1977, pl. 17, 20
The Klamer Family Collection of Inuit Art, Waddington’s Auctioneers, Spring 2005, p. 89, lot 128