JOHN KAVIK (1897-1993)
The Stanley and Jean Zazelenchuk Collection, New Brunswick
Auger, Emily E. The Way of the Inuit Art: Aesthetics and History in and Beyond the Arctic. North Carolina: McFarland & Company Inc., 2005, p. 115-116
Like most artists from Rankin Inlet/Kangiqliniq, Kavik focused on the human figure in his practice; specifically “primitive” depictions of highly abstracted figures. Differing significantly from artists on the eastern side of Hudson Bay, artworks from this area have a truly authentic aesthetic that has much to do with the limited exposure to southern influence.
In 1976, the co-op decided to withdraw works by Kavik for sale, believing them to be too primitive for southern buyers -- to Stanley Zazelenchuk's dismay. Zazelenchuk championed the artist's work in effort to correct what he perceived as a serious misjudgment of a profoundly gifted artist.