Reflecting on what makes art compelling
You may wonder how a catalogue cover is chosen. Sometimes it’s the final stage of catalogue preparation, and sometimes the first. Whenever the right item chooses to reveal itself – the cover can almost set the tone for the entire auction. For that reason we selected the majestic Hawk by Osuitok Ipeelee to be the cover of our June 2 auction. Not only because it is an important example of Inuit art, but also because it is a true reflection of what makes any work of art compelling and powerful. I promise the cover is just the beginning – between the pages of this catalogue you’ll find many more examples of great art.
Since our inaugural Inuit art auction in 1978, we’ve keenly watched its growth in popularity and demand. It’s been gratifying to see Inuit art be acknowledged with increasing respect and to be part of its international development. As I work more closely with my colleagues in our Canadian, contemporary and International art departments, I’ve also seen an increase within our own diverse client base as the lines blur between what used to be defined as purely Inuit, contemporary or Canadian art.
One of the best parts of bringing this auction together is that it’s built almost entirely from private collections. This means we’ve had the privilege to meet and talk with collectors who had a personal connection to the North, people who travelled or worked in the Arctic many years ago. How wonderful it must have been to have the opportunity to see and be able to buy works from some of the very early artists. I thank you for sharing your stories and for entrusting these wonderful works to us. It is also so amazing to spend time surrounded by works by the great masters. I never tire of being in the presence of extraordinary pieces by John Tiktak, George Tataniq, Pauta Saila, Ennutsiak, John Kavik, Joe Talirunili and so many others, during our cataloguing process.
The next several weeks are my favourite times of year – I get to see many friends who share my passion for Inuit art and who celebrate its success. This auction is filled with wonderful art – I know you’ll find something you love.
Specialist, Inuit Art