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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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Jessie Oonark, O.C., R.C.A., ᔪᓯ ᐃᓇ


JESSIE OONARK, O.C., R.C.A. (1906-1985), ᔪᓯ ᐃᓇ, BAKER LAKE / QAMANI’TUAQ

stonecut and stencil, 1971, 21/48

24 x 19 in — 61 x 48.3 cm

Private Collection, Atlanta, GA

Oonark takes the rich pattern work on the traditional amaut and stylizes it even further, rendering it as one would a modernist composition. For an image that tends nearly towards abstraction, Oonark incorporates several grounding details, including the traditional face tattoo of an Inuit woman. A prime example of the artist’s ability to translate common objects into symbols, the woman’s crescent-shaped ulu knife is used as a motif on both sides of the subject’s face. Oonark’s signature use of symmetry is displayed here, and a clear link to the artist’s famous “Big Woman” print can be seen.

Similar prints are held in the permanent collections of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Montreal, the National Gallery in Ottawa, and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Estimate: $2,000—4,000

Auction Results

Auction Date Auction House Lot # Low Est High Est Sold Price
2021-05-13 Waddington's 102 2,000 4,000 20,400.00
2013-11-18 Waddington's 192 2,500 3,500 4,800.00
2013-05-06 Waddington's 130 2,500 3,500 3,360.00
2011-05-02 Waddington's 246 2,000 3,000 3,120.00

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