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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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Kaka Ashoona, ᑲᑲ ᐊᓴᓇ

Settlement: Cape Dorset / Kinngait

(1928-1996) — E7-1101

Kaka Ashoona was born September 18, 1928 (or August 19) at Ikerrasaak camp on South Baffin Island. 

Kaka's mother was the world famous Inuit artist Pitseolak Ashoona who died in Cape Dorset on May 28, 1983. His siblings included: Napatchie Pootoogook (1938-2003) his sister and a graphic artist, brother Kiawak (b. 1938) was a sculptor as was his brother Kumwartok (1930-1984), and brother Ottochie was as well (1942-1970). His wife was Mayureak (b. 1946) who is a sculptor and printmaker. Kaka's son, Ohitok (b. 1952), is also a sculptor as is his other son Ottokie (b. 1970). 

Kaka noted, in a 1996 interview, that he used to support himself and his family solely by hunting and trapping. When the fur trade was "put on hold," as he described it, he turned to carving to supplement his income to support his family. As one observer noted his personality as "reserved" and his values "traditional."

Kaka's sculpture is heavy, characterized by compact forms and use of devices like an arm or hairpiece to create focus on the facial features of the work. The sculptor made the following comments about his work: "Mostly I seem to carve people. I do carve other animals and birds - seal or walrus or polar bear - I do those but not as often as I do people even though the face seems to be the hardest to do."

Since 1953, with the debut of his work at the Coronation Exhibition in London England, Kaka's sculptures have been exhibited internationally and has been referenced in various texts on Inuit art.


Exhibitions

  • A Family Tradition: Inuit Art from Canada's Arctic, Presented by Arctic Inuit Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • An Enduring Tradition II: Inuit Carving from the Northwest Territories, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Animals of the Arctic, Arctic Inuit Art
  • Arctic Forms - Inuit Sculpture, Arctic Inuit Art Gallery
  • Arctic Ice: Sculptures in Marble by the Artists of Cape Dorset, Northwest Territories, Marion Scott Gallery
  • Arctic Mirror, Canadian Museum of Civilization
  • Arctic Spirit 35 Years of Canadian Inuit Art, Frye Art Museum
  • Arctic Vision: Art of the Canadian Inuit, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and Canadian Arctic Producers
  • ART ESKIMO, Galerie de France
  • Ashoona Kaka, Inuit Galerie
  • Baffin Island Sculpture, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Baffin Island Sculpture Exhibition, Baffin Regional School
  • By the Light of the Qulliq: Eskimo Life in the Canadian Arctic, Smithsonian Institution, A travelling exhibition of Inuit art from the Feheley Collection
  • Canadian Eskimo Arts Festival, Alaska Methodist University Galleries
  • Canadian Inuit Art, Sponsored by Canadian Arctic Producers at City Hall
  • Cape Dorset, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Cape Dorset - Selected Sculpture from the Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Cape Dorset Sculpture, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Cape Dorset Sculpture, McMaster Art Gallery
  • Cape Dorset Stone Sculpture: Masters & the Next Generation, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Carvings and Prints by the Family of Pitseolak, Robertson Galleries
  • Collectors' Choice - An Exhibition of Important Inuit Sculpture, Waddington Galleries
  • Contemporary Canadian Eskimo Art, Gimpel Fils
  • Contemporary Sculpture from the Arctic, Arctic Artistry
  • Demons and Spirits and those who wrestled with them, The Arctic Circle
  • Die Kunst aus der Arktis, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa, presented by Commerzbank
  • Early and Contemporary Sculpture and Prints by Well-Known Inuit Artists, Arctic Artistry
  • Eskimo Carvings and Prints from the Collection of York University, Art Gallery of York University
  • Eskimo Carvings: Coronation Exhibition, Gimpel Fils
  • Eskimo Fantastic Art, Gallery 111, School of Art, University of Manitoba
  • Eskimo Sculpture, arranged by the Department of Northern Affairs and National Resources, and the National Gallery of Canada
  • Eskimo Sculpture, Winnipeg Art Gallery presented at the Manitoba Legislative Building
  • Eskimo Sculpture, Man & His World, Arctic Pavilion
  • Eskimo Sculpture '69, Robertson Galleries
  • Eskimo Sculpture from the Eastern Arctic, Ufundi Gallery
  • Four Cape Dorset Sculptors, Theo Waddington Galleries
  • Granville Island Canadian Inuit Sculpture Exhibition (first exhibition), Vancouver Inuit Art Society
  • Granville Island Canadian Inuit Sculpture Exhibition (second exhibition), Vancouver Inuit Art Society
  • 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
  • INUA: 50 Works from the Cappadocia Collection of Inuit Art, McMaster Art Gallery
  • Inuit Art at Rideau Hall, Presented by Indian Affairs and Northern Development
  • Inuit Art in the 1970s, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre
  • Inuit Master Artists of the 1970s, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Inuit Masterworks: Selections from the Collection of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, McMichael Canadian Collection
  • Inuit Sculpture--New Acquisitions, Pucker Gallery
  • Kaka, Zwickers Gallery
  • Kaka and Axangayuk, Gallery Shop, London Public Library
  • Kaka Ashoona, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Kaka Ashoona Sculpture, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Kaka Ashoona: Sculpture, Theo Waddington
  • Kanuitpit? Kunst und Kulturen der Eskimo: Eine Auswahl aus den Museumssammlungen, Staatliches Museum fur Volkerkunde Munchen
  • Kiawak, Kumwartok, Kaka: The Sons of Pitseolak Ashoona - Cape Dorset, The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art
  • La deesse inuite de la mer/The Inuit Sea Goddess, Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal
  • Les Eskimos/De Eskimo's, Studio 44 - Passage 44
  • Masters of the Arctic: An Exhibition of Contemporary Inuit Masterworks, Presented by the Amway Corporation at the United Nations General Assembly
  • Masterwork Sculpture 1985, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Masterwork Sculpture 1986, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Multiple Realities: Inuit Images of Shamanic Transformation, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Mythology in Stone, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Night Spirits: Cape Dorset 1960-1965, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Northern Exposure: Inuit Images of Travel, Burnaby Art Gallery
  • Not Just a Dancing Step..., Galerie D'Art Vincent
  • On the Land, The Arctic Circle
  • Opening Exhibition, Nunavut Fine Arts Limited
  • Our Hoods Are Full, Arctic Artistry
  • Sculpture, Canadian Eskimo Arts Council a competition/exhibition organized as a contribution to the Centennial of the N.W.T.
  • Sculpture by Kaka of Cape Dorset, Gallery of the Arctic
  • Sculpture in Miniature, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Sculpture Inuit, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Sculpture Inuit 25 Years After, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Sculpture of the Inuit: Major Works by the Masters of Stone, Maslak McLeod Canadian Art
  • 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
  • Sedna, the sea spirit: Sculpture in bone and stone, The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art
  • Sedna: Spirit of the Sea, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Selections from the John and Mary Robertson Collection of Inuit Art, Agnes Etherington Art Centre Queen's University
  • Small Sculptures by Great Artists I, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Small Sculptures from across the Canadian Arctic, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Songs in Stone, The Arctic Circle
  • Spoken in Stone: an exhibition of Inuit Art, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
  • Stones, Bones, Cloth, and Paper: Inuit Art in Edmonton Collections, Edmonton Art Gallery
  • Ten Masterworks Exhibition Artists, Gallery of the Arctic
  • The Art of the Eskimo, Simon Fraser Gallery, Simon Fraser University
  • The Bear, the Owl, the Walrus, The Arctic Circle
  • The Coming and Going of the Shaman: Eskimo Shamanism and Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • The Early Years: Sculpture from the 50's and 60's, The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art
  • The First Passionate Collector: The Ian Lindsay Collection of Inuit Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • The Hand, The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art
  • The Inuit Imagination, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • The Inuit Sea Goddess, Surrey Art Gallery, (organized to complement the Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal exhibit of the same name)
  • The Jacqui and Morris Shumiatcher Collection of Inuit Art, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina
  • The Last and First Eskimos, Museum of Science and History
  • The Lindsay and Swartz Collections: New Acquisitions, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • The Oral Tradition, National Museum of Man
  • The Spirit of the Land, The Koffler Gallery
  • The Woodget Collection of Eskimo Art and Artifacts, Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Art
  • Ulu/Inua: Form and Fantasy in Eskimo Art, Casino Gallery, Ravinia Park
  • Whalebone and Stone Eskimo Carvings, Waddington Galleries

Collections

  • Amway Environmental Foundation Collection, Ada
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Art Gallery of Windsor, Windsor
  • Art Gallery of York University, Downsview
  • Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa
  • Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec, Montreal
  • Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull
  • Dennos Museum Center, Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City
  • Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton
  • Fitzgerald Collection, Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff
  • GE Canada Inuit Art Collection, Mississauga
  • Glenbow Museum, Calgary
  • Inuit Cultural Institute, Rankin Inlet
  • Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Kitchener
  • Kroller Muller Museum,
  • McMaster University Art Gallery, Hamilton
  • Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon
  • Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal, Montreal
  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • New Brunswick Museum, Saint John
  • Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife
  • Red Deer and District Museum and Archives, Red Deer
  • Sarick Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank Collection, Toronto
  • University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge
  • Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, Banff
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg
  • York University, Toronto

Artwork

Title Last Sold At Auction
BASKING WALRUS 2014-06 (June 2014)
BIRD 2017-05 (May 2017)
BIRD TRANSFORMATION 2011-02 (February 2011)
CROUCHING BEAR 2017-06 (June 2017)
DANCING WALRUS 2015-11 (November 2015)
FIGURE CARRYING FIGURE 2015-06 (June 2015)
HAWK 2020-02 (February 2020)
HEAD 2010-02 (February 2010)
HEAD OF A WOMAN 2010-11 (November 2010)
HOODED INUK 2014-06 (June 2014)
HUNTER CARRYING A SEAL 2016-11 (November 2016)
HUNTER WITH BEAR HEADPIECE 2011-04 (April 2011)
HUNTER’S THOUGHTS OF SEAL 2013-11 (November 2013)
INJURED HUNTER 2017-05 (May 2017)
MOTHER AND CHILD HOLDING A SEAL 2014-06 (June 2014)
MOTHER WITH CHILD IN AMAUT 2017-05 (May 2017)
OWL SPIRIT 2007-04 (April 2007)
OWL WITH TURNED HEAD 2018-03 (March 2018)
POLAR BEAR 2011-05 (May 2011)
PREENING BIRD 2016-06 (June 2016)
RUNNING BEAR 2010-11 (November 2010)
RUNNING BIRD 2019-09 (September 2019)
SEAL 2014-11 (November 2014)
SEDNA 2012-11 (November 2012)
SEDNA AND HER ATTENDANT 2013-11 (November 2013)
SEDNA AND YOUNG 2010-11 (November 2010)
SPIRITS AND HUNTER 2018-05 (May 2018)
SQUATTING MAN 2018-05 (May 2018)
WALRUS 2017-06 (June 2017)
WALRUS SHAMAN 2013-09 (September 2013)
WOMAN DRINKING FROM A SKIN POUCH 2019-11 (November 2019)

Recent Auction Results

HAWK
Estimate: 400 — 600
Sold: Feb 2020 — Sold For: $360
WOMAN DRINKING FROM A SKIN POUCH
Estimate: 3,000 — 5,000
Sold: Nov 2019 — Sold For: $4,800
RUNNING BIRD
Estimate: 1,500 — 2,500
Sold: Sep 2019 — Sold For: $660
SPIRITS AND HUNTER
Estimate: 600 — 900
Sold: May 2018 — Sold For: $552
SQUATTING MAN
Estimate: 1,500 — 2,000
Sold: May 2018 — Sold For: $1,250
OWL WITH TURNED HEAD
Estimate: 600 — 900
Sold: Mar 2018 — Sold For: $720

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