The Canada Auction Series: Inuit Art

May 27June 01, 2023
Auction begins to close at 7:00 pm ET

Online Auction
LOT 169

Lot 169

Napatchie Pootoogook ᓇᐸᓯ ᐳᑐᒍ (1938-2002)

Napatchie Pootoogook ᓇᐸᓯ ᐳᑐᒍ (1938-2002)
Lot 169 Details
Napatchie Pootoogook ᓇᐸᓯ ᐳᑐᒍ (1938-2002), Kinngait (Cape Dorset)


titled, dated and numbered 10/50; artist's name in Roman; framed
sight 18.25 x 21.5 in — 46.4 x 54.6 cm

Estimate $3,000-$5,000

Realised: $4,489.50
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

Lot Report

Additional Images
Napatchie Pootoogook ᓇᐸᓯ ᐳᑐᒍ (1938-2002)
  • Napatchie Pootoogook ᓇᐸᓯ ᐳᑐᒍ (1938-2002)

Private Collection, London, ON


When asked about this stonecut in a 1979 interview with Marion E. Jackson, Pootoogook responded: “I have never seen a spirit. Perhaps if I saw a spirit, I would have a heart attack. I have heard people talking about having seen spirits. It would be quite a different story to me if I had seen one.”

The daughter of pioneering artist Pitseolak Ashoona, recalls: “I draw almost like my mother’s drawings. Perhaps the reason why is because I used to watch my mother drawing…even though I don’t try to copy what she does, sometimes it turns out that I draw almost like my mother’s drawings.” The idea of shared techniques aligns with Pootoogook’s subject matter, which is notable for its documentation of collective histories, depictions of camp life, and traditional legends.

Pootoogook’s early work, like Bird Spirits, centred around Inuit spirituality and stories, using a monochromatic or limited palette. Stripped of the inessential, Pootoogook’s narrative becomes the focus of this print. The central figure in Bird Spirits appears as if startled – caught in the act – an impression conveyed by the wonderfully descriptive lines that the artist used to depict the spirit’s outstretched arms. If this is the decisive moment, the climax of the story, the viewer is left wondering – what happens next?

Odette Leroux, Marion E. Jackson, Minnie Aodla Freeman, Inuit Women Artists, (Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 1994), reproduced p. 139


Overall very good condition. Some creasing, minor imperfections.

Please contact the specialist for further condition information.

LOT 169

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.