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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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Abraham Apakark Anghik, ᐊᐃᐊᔭᑲ ᐊᐸᑲ ᐊᒋ

Settlement: Paulatuk

(1951) — W3-1205

First Name: Abraham Anghik

Last Name: Ruben

Full Name: Abraham Anghik Ruben

Name in syllabics: N/A

Alternative Names: N/A

Date of birth: November 26, 1951

Place of birth: Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, Canada

Date of death: N/A

Place of death: N/A

Community / Heritage: Inuit / Inuvialuit

Sex: Male

Disc Number: N/A


Art Media: Sculpture, jewellery, prints and drawings, whalebone, narwal tusk, soapstone, alabaster, marble, bronze.



Abraham Anghik Ruben is from Paulatuk, Northwest Territories, born in 1951 to Billy and Bertha Ruben. His parents and 14 siblings lived a traditional nomadic life until 1967 when the family moved into the small community of Paulatuk.

From the age of 7, Ruben attended residential schools. He refers this period in his life “the dark night of my soul.” After spending eleven years at the boarding school, he left the system in 1970 before completing Grade 10. 

In the summer of 1971, Ruben began his formal studies in art under the guidance of Ronald Senungetuk, an Iñupiat artist and art educator, who was the head of the Native Arts Centre at the University of Alaska. While in university, Ruben developed an understanding of traditional materials and techniques, which be combined with his interpretations of many Inuit myths, legends, and the traditional teachings of his Inuvialuit family. He decided to compile ancestral stories from his parents and elders to further his knowledge. Later in his career, he also began to explore the relationship between the Inuit and the Vikings.

Throughout the 1970s, Abraham worked as an artist, producing sculpture, jewellery, prints, and drawings. For his sculptures, he uses whalebone, narwal tusks, soapstone, alabaster, marble, and bronze. 

Ruben’s inventive and complex work quickly grabbed the attention of art dealers across Canada, including Jackson Henry Pollock and Eva Quan, who introduced his work to the Toronto art scene. 

In 1986, Ruben and his family moved to Salt Spring Island, where he continues to live and work. 

In 2007, a half-hour documentary was produced about Ruben as part of the 26-part series entitled "From the Spirit."

Ruben’s work is held in the permanent collections of public art galleries and museums, including the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, the Cerny Inuit Collection in Bern Switzerland.

Ruben received the Order of Canada in 2016 for his artistic contributions and for his preservation of Inuvialuit culture.


Solo Exhibitions:

  • 1975 - 1973: Arctic Arts Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 1976: Langlois Gallery, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • 1977: Pollock Gallery Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1978: Pollock Gallery Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1979: Pollock Gallery Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1980: “Abraham Anghik”, New Sculptures Pollock Gallery , Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1980: Bayard Gallery New York, NY, USA
  • 1981: “Images for a Canadian Heritage”, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1991: “Spirit of my People”, Alaska Gallery of New York , NY, USA
  • 1994: “Abraham Anghik: Work in Bronze”, Isaacs Inuit Gallery, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1998: Maslak-McLeod Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
  • 2000 - 2002: Paiges Art Gallery, Ketchum, Idaho, USA
  • 2001 - 2002: “Abraham Anghik Ruben” Illustrated catalogue, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2003: “The Art of Abraham Anghik Ruben”, Appleton Galleries, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2006: “Iceland 900 A.D.”, Mayberry Fine Art, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2012: “Arctic Journeys/Ancient Memories”, Smithsonian Institute, Washington District of Columbia,  USA
  • 2013: “Arctic Journeys/Ancient Memories”, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
  • 2014 - 2015: Museum Cerny Inuit Collection, Bern, Switzerland
  • 2014: Rockwell Museum of Western Art, New York, NY, USA
  • 2015 - 2016: Museum of Inuit Art, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2015 - 2016: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • 2016: “Narratives from the North”, Robert Bateman Centre, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2017: Dennos Museum Center,Traverse City, Michigan, USA
  • 2017: The Guild, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Group Exhibitions:

  • 1975: University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Alaska
  • 1977: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Cananda
  • 1978: “The Coming and Going of the Shaman”,  Winnipeg Art Gallery,  Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 1979: Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1980: “Children of the Raven Gallery”, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1980: Canadian Museum of Civilization,Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
  • 1981: “The Inuit Sea Goddess”, Surrey Art Gallery, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1982: “New Work by a New Generation”, University of Regina, Mackenzie Art Gallery Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
  • 1982: “Works by Abraham, Anghik, David Piqtoukun, Stefanie Ham”, Thomas, Gallery Quan, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1983 - 1985: “Contemporary Indian and Inuit Art of Canada”, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development  Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 1984 - 1988: “Arctic Vision: Art of the Canadian Inuit”, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development (Tour of United States and Canada), Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • 1984: “Images”, Art Gallery Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 1987: Orcas Gallery, Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1989: “Out of Tradition: Abraham Anghik/David Ruben Piqtoukun”, Illustrated catalogue, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 1991: “Spirit of My People:” Sculptures by Abraham, New York, NY, USA
  • 1993: “Arts from the Arctic”, Anchorage Museum, Anchorage, Alaska Yakutsk Art Centre Yakutsk, Republic of Sakha, Siberia
  • 1993: “Arts from the Arctic”, organized by the Canadian National Committee, Arts from the Arctic and Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • 1995: “Canadian Inuit Sculpture: The Next Generation”, Orca Art Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, USA
  • 1997: Sun Valley Center for Arts and Humanities, Ketchum, Idaho, USA
  • 2004: “Noah’s Ark”, National Gallery of Canada, Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada
  • 2005: “Iceland 1000 AD”, Mayberry Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2007: “ Inuit Sculpture Now”, National Gallery, Touring Exhibition
  • 2007: “ItuKiagattal! Inuit Sculpture from the Collection of the TD Bank Financial Group”, Guest Exhibitor, VAG   Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2010: Canada’s Northern House, Winter Olympics 2010, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 2010: The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2011: “Inuit Modern”, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2012: “Abraham Ruben & Ron Senungetuk”, Bunnell St. Gallery, Alaska
  • 2012: McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada
  • 2013: “100 Masters: Only in Canada”, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • 2013: “Creation & Transformation: Defining Moments in Inuit Art”, Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


  • The Rockwell Museum, Corning, New York, USA
  • Art Gallery of Algoma, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada
  • Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada
  • Museum Cerny Inuit Collection, Bern, Switzerland
  • Art Gallery of Ontario AGO, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Canadian Embassy, Washington District of Columbia, USA
  • Canadian Museum of Civilization, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • De Young Museum, Fowler Collection, San Francisco, California, USA
  • Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • House of Commons, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Indian and Northern Affairs of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • McMaster University Art Gallery, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada
  • Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Museum of Inuit Art, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  • Norwegian Folk Museum, Oslo, Norway
  • Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada
  • Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • University of Alaska, Board of Regents, Juneau, Alaska
  • The University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • The Richardson Group, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
  • Kingswood Capital, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Alberta Stock Exchange, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  • Terasen Gas Building, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Glaxo Smith Kline, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
  • Alcan World Headquarters, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
  • BC Chartered Accountants Building, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • Imperial Oil Ltd., Alberta, Canada
  • Labbatt’s Ltd., Ontario, Canada
  • Citicorp, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • BMW Canada, Ontario, Canada
  • PowerOne Capital Markets ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Pinetree Capital Ltd., Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Sprott Asset Management, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • Kalmer Family, Toronto, Ontario, Canada



  • 1986: Expo 86 Banners and backdrop for NWT Pavilion performance stage, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 1990: Northern Myth Northern Legend, National competition for Glaxo/Smith/Kline Canadian Headquarters (16’ limestone sculpture)
  • 1993: Manulife national sculpture competition for placement at BC Gas Building, Vancouver, Canada
  • 1992: Holocaust Sculpture Memorial, Holocaust Museum, Israel
  • 2016: Recipient of the Officer of the Order of Canada


Title Last Sold At Auction
ANIMAL SPIRIT UMIAK 2017-05 (May 2017)
BEAR DRUM DANCER 2021-12 (December 2021)
BIRD 2021-06 (June 2021)
BIRD SPIRIT 2020-08 (August 2020)
BIRD TRANSFORMATION 2012-02 (February 2012)
BIRD WITH UPSWEPT WINGS 2013-03 (March 2013)
BIRD WITH WING RAISED 2013-02 (February 2013)
BIRD WITH WINGS SPREAD 2012-02 (February 2012)
BUST OF A WOMAN 2011-11 (November 2011)
COMPOSITION 2021-07 (July 2021)
DANCE OF LIFE AND DEATH 2009-05 (May 2009)
DRUM DANCER 2014-11 (November 2014)
DRUM DANCER TRANFORMATION 2011-10 (October 2011)
DRUM DANCERS 2014-06 (June 2014)
DRUM DANCING SHAMAN 2015-06 (June 2015)
DRUMMER 2010-11 (November 2010)
EAGLE 2021-10 (October 2021)
EAGLE SHAMAN 2021-10 (October 2021)
ECSTASY 2007-11 (November 2007)
FALCON 2017-05 (May 2017)
FALCON ON A ROCK 2016-11 (November 2016)
HEADS 2012-04 (April 2012)
LOON 2018-11 (November 2018)
MEDICINE OWL 2014-07 (July 2014)
NAMING THE CHILD 2019-11 (November 2019)
OWL 2020-11 (November 2020)
OWL IN TAKE OFF 2022-03 (March 2022)
RAVEN 2019-11 (November 2019)
RAVEN EMBRACING WOMAN 2015-06 (June 2015)
RAVEN MAN 2007-11 (November 2007)
RAVEN SHAMAN 2017-05 (May 2017)
RAVEN, WOMAN AND CHILD 2018-11 (November 2018)
SEAL 2021-07 (July 2021)
SEAL DRUM DANCER 2012-02 (February 2012)
SEDNA 2021-12 (December 2021)
SEDNA AND YOUNG 2011-11 (November 2011)
SEDNA TRANSFORMING 2010-11 (November 2010)
SHAMAN 2007-04 (April 2007)
SHAMAN AND SPIRITS 2021-12 (December 2021)
SHAMAN CONJURING SPIRITS 2021-12 (December 2021)
SHAMAN TRANSFORMATION 2012-11 (November 2012)
SHAMAN TRANSFORMING 2010-11 (November 2010)
SHAMAN WITH MANY EYES 2012-11 (November 2012)
SHAMAN WITH TUSKS 2011-12 (December 2011)
SITTING FIGURE 2012-04 (April 2012)
SPIRIT MASK 2022-09 (September 2022)
SPIRIT TOTEM 2021-12 (December 2021)
SPIRITS 2019-05 (May 2019)
SQUATTING FIGURE LOOKING BACK 2016-09 (September 2016)
SWIMMING SEDNA 2014-06 (June 2014)
TATTOOED FACE 2015-06 (June 2015)
TRANSFORMATION 2012-11 (November 2012)
TRANSFORMATION PIECE, 1990 2022-11 (November 2022)
TWO-FACED 2013-03 (March 2013)
WOMAN CRADLING CHILD 2015-06 (June 2015)
WRESTLING SHAMANS 2010-11 (November 2010)

Recent Auction Results

Estimate: 500 — 700
Sold: Nov 2022 — Sold For: $780
Estimate: 1,000 — 1,500
Sold: Sep 2022 — Sold For: $1,440
Estimate: 1,000 — 1,500
Sold: Mar 2022 — Sold For: $1,200
Estimate: 200 — 300
Sold: Mar 2022 — Sold For: $1,440
Estimate: 700 — 1,000
Sold: Dec 2021 — Sold For: $1,692
Estimate: 5,000 — 7,000
Sold: Dec 2021 — Sold For: $6,600

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