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i u a pi pu pa ti tu ta ki ku ka gi gu ga mi mu ma ni nu na si su sa li lu la ji ju ja vi vu va ri ru ra qi qu qa ngi ngu nga lhi lhu lha

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Johnny Inukpuk, ᔭᓇ ᐃᓇᐸ

Settlement: Port Harrison / Inukjuak

(1911-2007) — E9-904

Johnny Inukpuk began carving in the early 1950s after James Houson's first visit to Inukjuak. His work, including a very large (49.5 x 36.8 x 21.5 cm) piece entitled Hunter, was part of a collection of Inuit art that was acquired by the TD Bank Financial Group in 1951. His work received recognition as part of an exhibition of Inuit art known as The Coronation Exhibition held at Gimpel Fils in London, England in 1953.

Johnny Inukpuk's anecdotal Inuit sculpture reflected an austere, sometimes violent, way of life. By contrast, his depictions of balloon-breasted mothers nursing plump contented babies seemed to assure the viewer a life of love and abundance. An anachronistic flaw, a cleft lip, was invariably shared by both figures. His explanation, probably tongue-in-cheek, was that "white people think Eskimos look like that." Although known primarily as a sculptor, Inukpuk did make one notable print. Titled A True Story of Johnny Being Attacked by Three Polar Bears While in His Igloo (1974), the print documented an encounter with a trio of polar bears who attacked the artist as he lay in his igloo during an overnight hunting trip. Having left his rifle outside the igloo, he managed to fend off the bears with only a stick. Although primarily a sculptor and not familiar with printmaking technique, he consulted with community elders and decided that the print medium would more adequately recreate the event.

In 1978, Inukpuk was made a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. A prolific artist, he was still carving well into his later years.

The Canadian Encylopedia


Exhibitions

  • Arctic Mirror, Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Arctic Quebec Print Collection II *74, (annual collection)
  • Arctic Quebec Sculpture, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Arctic Quebec Sculpture of Johnny Inukpuk, Maslak-McLeod Canadian Art
  • Arctic Quebec Sculpture/Toni Onley Watercolours, Houston North Gallery
  • Arctic Spirit 35 Years of Canadian Inuit Art, Frye Art Museum
  • Art/Inuit/Art: The Rothmans Permanent Collection of Eskimo Sculpture, Rothmans of Pall Mall Canada Ltd.
  • Artists of Arctic Quebec, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Collector's Dolls and Baskets, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Eskimo Art, Queens Museum
  • Eskimo Art, Embankment Gallery
  • Eskimo Canada, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec and La Federation des Cooperatives du Nouveau-Quebec, held at Place Bonaventure
  • Eskimo Carvings and Prints from the Collection of York University, Art Gallery of York University
  • Eskimo Carvings: Coronation Exhibition, Gimpel Fils
  • Eskimo Sculpture, arranged by the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, and the National Gallery of Canada
  • Eskimo Sculpture and Art Exhibit, Yerkes International Galleries
  • Eskimo Sculpture, Eskimo Prints and Paintings of Norval Morrisseau, Art Association of Newport
  • Espaces Inuit, Maison Hamel-Bruneau
  • Exhibition and Sale of Musk-Oxen and Bears, Cottage Craft Gifts & Fine Arts Ltd.
  • Granville Island Canadian Inuit Sculpture Exhibition (first exhibition), Vancouver Inuit Art Society
  • Granville Island Canadian Inuit Sculpture Exhibition (second exhibition), Vancouver Inuit Art Society
  • Hudson's Bay Company Collection of Inuit Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Im Schatten der Sonne: Zeitgenossische Kunst der Indianer und Eskimos in Kanada/In the Shadow of the Sun: Contemporary Indian and Inuit Art in Canada, Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Immaginario Inuit Arte e cultura degli esquimesi canadesi, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
  • Inspiration Four Decades of Sculpture, Marion Scott Gallery
  • Inuit Art: A Selection of Inuit Art from the Collection of the National Museum of Man, Ottawa, and the Rothmans Permanent Collection of Inuit Sculpture, Canada, National Museum of Man, Ottawa and Rothmans of Pall Mall Canada Ltd.
  • Inuit Masterworks: Selections from the Collection of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, McMichael Canadian Collection
  • Inuit Sculpture 1982, The Raven Gallery
  • Inuit Woman: Life and Legend in Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Inukpuk Family Sculpture, Arctic Artistry
  • Johnny Inukpuk of Inoucdjouac, Cottage Craft Gifts and Fine Arts Ltd.
  • Johnny Inukpuk R.C.A., Galerie Le Chariot
  • Later Works of Johnny Inukpuk, Arctic Artistry
  • Les Inuit du Nouveau-Quebec, Musee du Quebec
  • Masterwork Sculpture 1985, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Mother and Child: Sculpture and Prints, Albers Gallery
  • Moving Around the Form: Inuit Sculpture and Prints, Agnes Etherington Art Centre Queen's University
  • Our Hoods are Full, Arctic Artistry
  • Recent Acquisitions: Watercolors of the Arctic Landscape and Original Eskimo Sculpture, Arctic Artistry
  • Recent Stone Sculpture from Arctic Quebec, Arctic Artistry
  • Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterwork Exhibitors of the Canadian Arctic, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Sculpture/Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic, Canadian Eskimo Arts Council
  • Stories in Stone: Soapstone Sculptures From Northern Quebec and Kenya, La Federation des Cooperatives du Nouveau-Quebec
  • Takamit - Canadian Eskimo Art: Selections from Private Collections and the Government of Canada, Organized by La Federation des Cooperatives du Nouveau-Quebec and the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University
  • The Arctic/L'Artique, UNESCO
  • The Art of the Eskimo, Simon Fraser Gallery, Simon Fraser University
  • The Bessie Bulman Collection, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • The Eskimo Art Collection of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, Toronto-Dominion Bank
  • The Inuit Imagination, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • The Jacqui and Morris Shumiatcher Collection of Inuit Art, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina
  • The Spirit of the Land, The Koffler Gallery
  • Things Made by Inuit, La Federation des Cooperatives du Nouveau-Quebec
  • Traditions and Innovations in Inuit Art Sculpture in Stone, Images of the North
  • We Lived by Animals/Nous Vivions des Animaux, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development in cooperation with the Department of External Affairs
  • Winnipeg Collects: Inuit Art from Private Collections, Winnipeg Art Gallery

Collections

  • Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University, Kingston
  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Art Gallery of York University, Downsview
  • Avataq Cultural Institute, Montreal
  • Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull
  • Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown
  • Dennos Museum Center, Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City
  • Glenbow Museum, Calgary
  • Hudson Bay Permanent Collection, Winnipeg
  • Klamer Family Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  • Musee de la civilisation, Quebec City
  • Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal, Montreal
  • Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife
  • Rothmans Permanent Collection of Eskimo Sculpture, Toronto
  • Sarick Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank Collection, Toronto
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg

Publications

  • A BUSINES AND MARKETING STUDY AND PLAN FOR INUIT AND DENE ARTS AND CRAFTS:, Author: John C. Williams Consultants Limited, Publication: Toronto, Ont.: John C. Williams Consultants Ltd. (1985)
  • AN EXHIBITION OF ESKIMO SCULPTURE, ESKIMO PRINTS AND PAINTINGS OF NORVAL MORRISSEAU — From the Collection Cartier, Montreal, Canada., Author: Art Association of Newport, Publication: Newport, R.I.: Art Association of Newport. (1968)
  • ARCTIC WHALERS ICY SEAS — Narratives of the Davis Strait Whale Fishery, Author: Ross, W. Gillies, Publication: Toronto: Irwin Publishing (1985)
  • BAKER LAKE 1980, PRINTS = ESTAMPES, Author: Sanavik Co-operative Association, Publication: Baker Lake: Sanavik Co-operative Association (1980)
  • CANADIAN ARCTIC PRODUCERS: AN INUIT COMPANY, Author: Canada. Indian Affairs and Northern Development, Publication: A production of the Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development; directed by Eric Tagoona; narration by Peter Itinuar; (c)D.I.A.N.D. (1975)
  • CHRISTIE'S IN CANADA., Author: Christie, Manson & Woods (Canada) Ltd., Publication: Toronto: Christie, Manson & Woods (Canada) Ltd., (1975)
  • EARLY ART AND ARTIFACTS OF THE ESKIMO., Author: Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art, Publication: Toronto: The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art. (1975)
  • GJOA HAVEN — Recent Sculpture, Author: Canadian Arctic Producers, Publication: Ottawa: Canadian Arctic Producers Cooperative Limited. (1980)
  • INUIT ART, INDUSTRY DEVELOP PARTNERSHIP, Author: Glave, James, Publication: Ottawa : Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Transition, Vol.3, No.4 : p.7. (1990)
  • MAN, BEAST, AND TRANSFORMATION IN CANADIAN INUIT ART AND CULTURE., Author: Graburn, Nelson H.H., Publication: In: MANLIKE MONSTERS ON TRIAL. Ed. by Marjorie M. Halpin and Michael M. Ames. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press (1980)
  • MASTERS OF ADVERSITY — The Contemporary Inuit and Their Art, Author: Swinton, George, Publication: Ada, Michigan : Amway Corporation. Masters of the Arctic : Art in the Service of the Earth. p. 11-15 (1989)
  • POTTERY IN KEEWATIN, Author: Nagy, Hendrika G., Publication: The Beaver, Autumn, 1967. pp.61-65. (1967)
  • SCULPTURES AND PRINTS BY LYPA PITSIULAK OF PANGNIRTUNG, Author: Upstairs Gallery, Publication: Winnipeg: The Upstairs Gallery (1979)
  • SOURCES FOR THE STUDY OF THE CANADIAN NORTH/ — Documents pour l'etude du Nord canadien., Author: Public Archives Canada, Publication: Ottawa : Minister of Supply and Services. (1980)
  • THE PEOPLE WITHIN = LES GENS DE L'INTERIEUR., Author: Art Gallery of Ontario, Publication: Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario. (1976)
  • TIKTAK — Sculptor From Rankin Inlet, Author: Gallery One-One-One, Publication: Winnipeg: University of Manitoba. School of Art. Gallery One-One-One (1970)

Artwork

Title Last Sold At Auction
ARCTIC HARE 2019-01 (January 2019)
BASKING SEALS AND WALRUS 2007-04 (April 2007)
BEAR 2011-03 (March 2011)
BIRD ON NEST BASE 2013-03 (March 2013)
CARIBOU 2007-11 (November 2007)
CHILDREN PLAYING A GAME 2008-11 (November 2008)
CROUCHING MOTHER CRADLING CHILD 2019-11 (November 2019)
FIGURE 2009-02 (February 2009)
FIGURE SKINNING AN ANIMAL 2009-04 (April 2009)
FISHERMAN 2008-11 (November 2008)
GOOSE 2007-04 (April 2007)
HUNTER 2007-09 (September 2007)
HUNTER CALLING BIRD 2020-02 (February 2020)
HUNTER PULLING SEAL 2018-05 (May 2018)
HUNTER WITH A SEAL 2011-04 (April 2011)
HUNTER WITH CARIBOU 2019-11 (November 2019)
HUNTER WITH CATCH 2010-08 (August 2010)
HUNTER WITH FISH 2019-03 (March 2019)
HUNTER WITH WALRUS HEAD 2019-01 (January 2019)
INFLATING AN AVATAK 2019-09 (September 2019)
INUK 2012-07 (July 2012)
INUK ICE FISHING 2008-11 (November 2008)
KNEELING FIGURE 2008-09 (September 2008)
KNEELING HUNTER 2014-09 (September 2014)
KNEELING HUNTER WITH ANIMAL 2016-03 (March 2016)
MAN WRINGING A LINE 2016-11 (November 2016)
MENDING BOOT WITH BABY IN AMAUT 2020-01 (January 2020)
MOTHER & CHILD 2011-04 (April 2011)
MOTHER & CHILD WITH ULU 2008-04 (April 2008)
MOTHER AND CHILD 2018-02 (February 2018)
MOTHER AND CHILD FISHING 2018-02 (February 2018)
MOTHER AND CHILD WITH A SIMILAR PIECE 2007-11 (November 2007)
MOTHER AND CHILD; SEATED FIGURE 2007-11 (November 2007)
MOTHER AND CHILDREN 2012-03 (March 2012)
MOTHER CHILDREN 2007-11 (November 2007)
MOTHER EMBRACING HER CHILD 2010-04 (April 2010)
MOTHER HOLDING CHILD 2019-03 (March 2019)
MOTHER HOLDING CHILD; TOGETHER WITH A SIMILAR WORK 2017-05 (May 2017)
MOTHER HOLDING HER CHILDREN 2013-11 (November 2013)
MOTHER NURSING CHILD 2007-11 (November 2007)
MOTHER SOFTENING SKIN WITH CHILD IN AMAUT 2018-03 (March 2018)
MOTHER TENDING KUDLUK 2007-11 (November 2007)
MOTHER WITH BABY EATING MUKTUK 2019-09 (September 2019)
MOTHER WITH CHILD 2007-11 (November 2007)
MOTHER WITH CHILD CLEANING A SKIN 2017-11 (November 2017)
MOTHER WITH CHILD IN AMAUTI ON BASE 2013-07 (July 2013)
MOTHER WITH HER TWO CHILDREN 2016-03 (March 2016)
MOTHER WITH KAMIK AND CHILD WITH A MOTHER AND CHILD 2007-11 (November 2007)
MOTHER WITH TWO CHILDREN 2016-04 (April 2016)
MUSK OX 2015-08 (August 2015)
MUSKOX 2009-03 (March 2009)
OTTER 2007-09 (September 2007)
OTTER WITH FISH 2019-04 (April 2019)
PERCHED BIRD 2015-10 (October 2015)
PERCHED CORPULENT BIRD 2016-04 (April 2016)
PREENING GOOSE 2019-12 (December 2019)
PUPPY 2009-03 (March 2009)
RECLINED CARIBOU; MUSK OX 2007-11 (November 2007)
RECLINING CARIBOU 2010-11 (November 2010)
SEAL 2014-04 (April 2014)
SEAL WITH YOUNG 2008-05 (May 2008)
SEDNA 2014-04 (April 2014)
SQUATTING MAN 2019-03 (March 2019)
STANDING HUNTER 2015-08 (August 2015)
TWO ANIMALS 2009-10 (October 2009)
WALRUS 2008-11 (November 2008)
WHALE 2010-03 (March 2010)
WOMAN 2011-03 (March 2011)
WOMAN CLEANING A SKIN 2018-03 (March 2018)
WOMAN FISHING; YOUNG CARIBOU 2012-05 (May 2012)
WOMAN HOLDING HER CHILD 2009-11 (November 2009)
WOMAN OVER ULU WITH BABY IN HER AMAUT 2019-11 (November 2019)
WOMAN SOFTENING A SKIN WITH CHILD IN HER AMAUT 2016-03 (March 2016)
WOMAN STRETCHING A SKIN WITH CHILD IN HER AMAUT 2015-08 (August 2015)
WOMAN TRANSFORMATION 2010-04 (April 2010)
WOMAN WITH CHILD IN HER AMAUT MENDING A KAMIK 2015-11 (November 2015)
WOMAN WITH CHILDREN 2016-06 (June 2016)

Recent Auction Results

HUNTER CALLING BIRD
Estimate: 1,500 — 2,000
Sold: Feb 2020 — Sold For: $1,200
MENDING BOOT WITH BABY IN AMAUT
Estimate: 500 — 700
Sold: Jan 2020 — Sold For: $480
PREENING GOOSE
Estimate: 1,000 — 1,500
Sold: Dec 2019 — Sold For: $900
HUNTER WITH CARIBOU
Estimate: 300 — 500
Sold: Nov 2019 — Sold For: $180
CROUCHING MOTHER CRADLING CHILD
Estimate: 8,000 — 12,000
Sold: Nov 2019 — Sold For: $38,400
WOMAN OVER ULU WITH BABY IN HER AMAUT
Estimate: 3,000 — 5,000
Sold: Nov 2019 — Sold For: $2,880

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