Q

Inside the work of Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak, two trailblazers of Inuit art

One of the most prominent Inuit artists working today, Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory, introduces us to the work of two trailblazers, Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak. A new exhibition of Ashevak and Pitsiulak's work is on display now at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is one of the most prominent Inuit artists working today. She introduces us to the work of two trailblazers, Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak, whose work is on display until Sunday, August 12 at the Art Gallery of Ontario. (Elysha Poirier)

Storyteller, writer and Greenlandic mask dancer Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory is one of the most important voices in Inuit art and culture working today. She's also one of the co-curators of Tunirrusiangit​, the Art Gallery of Ontario's exhibition of the work of Kenojuak Ashevak — often called the grandmother of Inuit art — and her nephew Tim Pitsiulak, whose modern style made him one of the most sought-after Inuit artists of his generation.

With incredible precision, Ashevak and Pitsiulak used ballpoint pens, magic markers and coloured pencils to create remarkable works of art. Their distinct, colourful images of highly stylized birds and other animals are familiar images to many Canadians.

Bathory knows a lot about using the unexpected in her own art. She joined q guest host Ali Hassan to take us deeper into the world of Inuit art, and share how Ashevak and Pitsiulak have inspired her.

Tunirrusiangit: Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitsiulak runs until Sunday, August 12 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

Kenojuak Ashevak (© Couvrette/Ottawa)
Kenojuak Ashevak, The Arrival of the Sun, 1962. Stonecut on paper, Sheet: 63 × 82.6 cm. Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002. (© Estate of Kenojuak Ashevak)
Kenojuak Ashevak, The Woman Who Lives in the Sun, 1960. Stonecut on paper, Overall: 49.7 x 66.2 cm. Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002. © Estate of Kenojuak Ashevak. (© Estate of Kenojuak Ashevak)
Kenojuak Ashevak, Bountiful Bird, 1986. Colour lithograph on paper, Sheet: 58 × 77.6 cm. Gift of Samuel and Esther Sarick, Toronto, 2002. (© Estate of Kenojuak Ashevak)
Tim Pitsiulak, artist in residence at Open Studio in Toronto. (© Cheryl Rondeau)
Tim Pitsiulak, Swimming Bear, 2016. Black ink and coloured pencil on paper, Overall: 74.9 × 105.4 cm. Purchased with funds donated by Greg Latremoille, 2017. (© Estate of Tim Pitsiulak)
Tim Pitsiulak. Composition (Self Portrait with Drawings), 2010. Pencil, coloured pencil, ink on paper, 57.2 × 63.5 cm. Collection of John and Joyce Price, Mercer Island, Washington, USA. (© Estate of Tim Pitsiulak)
Tim Pitsiulak. Man Raised by Two Orphan Cubs, 2011. Coloured pencil on black wove paper, Overall: 48.3 × 63.5 cm. Collection of James Vesper, Brooklyn. (© Estate of Tim Pitsiulak)

Produced by Alison Broverman

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