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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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Kiawak Ashoona, ᑭᐊᓱ ᐃᓱᓇ

Settlement: Cape Dorset / Kinngait

(1933-2014) — E7-1103

Born at the Tariugajak camp on Baffin Island on September 16, 1933, Kiawak Ashoona comes from a family of artists. His mother was Pitseolak Ashoona RCA (1904-1983) a graphic artist whose talent is still held in high esteem and whose daughter, Napatchie Pootoogook (d. 2003), contributed regularly to the Cape Dorset print collection. Kiawak's brothers, Koomwartok (1930-1984) and Kaka (1928-1996) were noted sculptors. Kiawak and his wife, Sorosilutu, had six children, two of whom are adopted.4

Kiawak's father, Ashoona, was one of the founders of Cape Dorset as an Inuit settlement. In his own way Kiawak was also a founder as he was one of the first in his community to carve. After living in Cape Dorset for a long time Kiawak returned to a traditional Inuit lifestyle on the land.

Kiawak was described as a "devout Christian" whose work depicted themes of traditional Inuit mythology and legends due to their popularity with southern buyers. It has been noted that his work is reflective to older cultural values and oral traditions and that his themes focus on: shamans, "Inuit mythology," story telling, hunting and other "traditional activities," as well as mother and child pairings.

The artist said: "When I carve it is hard for me to think what the carving is going to be. I will (then) start from the head. I try to put down a lot of details in the carvings that I do. Sometimes I carve from my imagination and sometimes I carve what I have seen in the past."


Exhibitions

  • A Family Tradition: Inuit Art from Canada's Arctic, Presented by Arctic Inuit Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • Arctic Art, Lippel Gallery, presented at Place Bonaventure
  • Arctic Forms - Inuit Sculpture, Arctic Inuit Art 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
  • Baffin Island Sculpture, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Cape Dorset, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Cape Dorset - A Decade of Eskimo Prints & Recent Sculpture, National Gallery of Canada, in cooperation with the Canadian Eskimo Art Committee
  • Cape Dorset - Selected Sculpture from the Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Cape Dorset Graphics *60, (annual collection)
  • Cape Dorset Graphics *63, (annual collection)
  • Cape Dorset Print Collection (printmaker) *62, (annual collection)
  • Cape Dorset Prints: Twenty-Five Years, National Gallery of Canada
  • Cape Dorset Sculptors and Their Sculpture, The Inuit Art Collection Mr. and Mrs. James F. Bacon
  • Carvings and Prints by the Family of Pitseolak, Robertson Galleries
  • Cold Stones, Warm Hearts: Inuit Art from the Northwest Territories, University of Richmond
  • Collectors' Choice - An Exhibition of Important Inuit Sculpture, Waddington Galleries
  • Contemporary Canadian Eskimo Art, Gimpel Fils
  • Cultures of the Sun and the Snow: Indian and Eskimo Art of the Americas, Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal held at "Man and His World"
  • Die Kunst aus der Arktis, Department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, Ottawa, presented by Commerzbank
  • Eskimo Art, Queens Museum
  • Eskimo Art, Embankment Gallery
  • Eskimo Carvings, Waddington
  • Eskimo Carvings and Prints from the Collection of York University, Art Gallery of York University
  • Eskimo Carvings: Coronation Exhibition, Gimpel Fils
  • 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 (and Drawings), Waddington Galleries
  • Fantasy and Stylization - Cape Dorset Sculpture, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • First Annual Collectors' Invitational Exhibition, Inuk 1/Eskimo Art
  • Four Artists from Cape Dorset, Lippel Gallery
  • Four Cape Dorset Sculptors, Theo Waddington Galleries
  • Gems in Arctic Jade: Sculpture of the Inuit, Arctic Artistry
  • Granville Island Canadian Inuit Sculpture Exhibition (first exhibition), Vancouver Inuit Art Society
  • Granville Island Canadian Inuit Sculpture Exhibition (second exhibition), Vancouver Inuit Art Society
  • Grasp Tight the Old Ways: Selections from the Klamer Family Collection of Inuit Art, Art Gallery of Ontario
  • Hunters of Old, Inukshuk Galleries Inc.
  • 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
  • Images of our past, Art of Man Gallery
  • Images of the Far North, Studio Art Gallery, State University of New York
  • Images of the Far North, Arctic Artistry (held at the Erie County Fairgrounds)
  • Immaginario Inuit Arte e cultura degli esquimesi canadesi, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea
  • In Cape Dorset We Do It This Way: Three Decades of Inuit Printmaking, McMichael Canadian Art Collection
  • Inspiration Four Decades of Sculpture, Marion Scott Gallery
  • Inuit Art from the Art Centre Collection, Macdonald Stewart Art Centre
  • Inuit Art in the 1970s, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre
  • Inuit Art: Drawings and Recent Sculpture, National Gallery of Canada
  • Inuit Master Artists of the 1970s, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Inuit Masterworks, Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
  • Inuit Masterworks: Selections from the Collection of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, McMichael Canadian Collection
  • Inuit Music in Art: Singing and Dancing and Playing, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Inuit Sculpture from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene B. Power, University of Michigan Museum of Art
  • Inuit Sculpture Prints & Drawings, Theo Waddington Galleries
  • Inuit Sculpture--New Acquisitions, Pucker Gallery
  • Inuit Sculpture: Displayed in Conjunction with the 1991 Cape Dorset Annual Graphics Collection, Muscarelle Museum of Art
  • Keeping Our Stories Alive: An Exhibition of the Art and Crafts from Dene and Inuit of Canada, Institute of American Indian Arts Museum
  • Kiawak, Marion Scott Gallery
  • Kiawak Ashoona, Theo Waddington
  • Kiawak Ashoona - Stone Sculpture, Waddington Galleries
  • Kiawak Ashoona: aus Cape Dorset, Baffin-Insel, Nordkanada, Inuit Galerie
  • Kiawak, Kumwartok, Kaka: The Sons of Pitseolak Ashoona - Cape Dorset, The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art
  • Kiugak Ashoona - Recent Sculpture, Houston North Gallery
  • Looking South, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Master Works from the Early Years, Arctic Artistry
  • 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
  • Mythology in Stone, Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
  • Night Spirits: Cape Dorset 1960-1965, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • Northern Exhibit, Stratford Festival
  • On Collectors and Collecting: Selections from the Herb & Cece Schreiber Family Collection, The Art Gallery of Hamilton
  • Opening Exhibition, Nunavut Fine Arts Limited
  • Our Hoods are Full, Arctic Artistry
  • Our Hoods Are Full, Arctic Artistry
  • Out of the Depths: Whalebone Sculpture, The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art
  • Polar Vision: Canadian Eskimo Graphics, Jerusalem Artists' House Museum
  • Primitive Art from the Arctic, Arctic Artistry
  • Sculpture, Canadian Eskimo Arts Council a competition/exhibition organized as a contribution to the Centennial of the N.W.T.
  • Sculpture of the Inuit: Major Works by the Masters of Stone, Maslak McLeod Canadian Art
  • Sculpture of the Inuit: Lorne Balshine Collection/Lou Osipov Collection/ Dr. Harry Winrob Collection, Surrey Art Gallery
  • 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
  • Selections from the John and Mary Robertson Collection of Inuit Art, Agnes Etherington Art Centre Queen's University
  • Selections from the Toronto-Dominion Collection of Eskimo Art, National Arts Centre
  • Small Sculptures by Great Artists I, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Small Sculptures by Great Artists II, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Small Sculptures by Great Artists III, Feheley Fine Arts
  • Strange Scenes: Early Cape Dorset Drawings, McMichael Canadian Collection
  • Taleelayu-Sedna: An exhibition of Eskimo Art derived from the legends of the sea goddess, Gallery One
  • Ten Masterworks Exhibition Artists, Gallery of the Arctic
  • The Art of the Eskimo, Simon Fraser Gallery, Simon Fraser University
  • The Collector's Eye Inuit Art from Private Collections, Albers Gallery
  • The Contemporary Eskimo Prints and Sculpture, Amon Carter Museum of Western Art
  • The Eskimo Art Collection of the Toronto-Dominion Bank, Toronto-Dominion Bank
  • The Inuit Imagination, Winnipeg Art Gallery
  • The Inuit Print/L'estampe inuit, Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development and the National Museum of Man
  • The Jacqui and Morris Shumiatcher Collection of Inuit Art, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina
  • The Klamer Family Collection of Inuit Art from the Art Gallery of Ontario, University of Guelph
  • The Oral Tradition, National Museum of Man
  • The Woodget Collection of Eskimo Art and Artifacts, Nova Scotia Museum of Fine Art
  • The World Around Me, University of Lethbridge Art Gallery
  • The Year of the Bear, The Arctic Circle
  • Through the Eyes of the Shaman, Arctic Artistry
  • Uumajut: Animal Imagery in Inuit Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery

Collections

  • Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth
  • Amway Environmental Foundation Collection, Ada
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • 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
  • Glenbow Museum, Calgary
  • Inuit Cultural Institute, Rankin Inlet
  • Klamer Family Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, Guelph
  • McMaster University Art Gallery, Hamilton
  • McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
  • Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal, Montreal
  • Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • Nunatta Sunaqutangit Museum, Iqaluit
  • Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife
  • Sarick Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Simon Fraser Gallery, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank Collection, Toronto
  • University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge
  • Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg

Accomplishments

Kiawak's accomplishments include:
- Exhibiting his art work world wide since the 1950s in exhibitions and museums and has been featured in books and documentaries
- The late and former United States President Ronald Reagan and former Chancellor of West Germany, Helmut Schmidt, own examples of his work
- 1970-1 'Tournaaq and Young' cover image for "Sculpture/Inuit. Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic"
- 1980 image of the goddess Sedna the subject of a Canadian stamp
- 1997 National Aboriginal Achievement Award Recipient
- 2000 made of Officer of the Order of Canada
- 2000 Molson Prize in the Arts
- 2003 Royal Canadian Academy
 

Artwork

Title Last Sold At Auction
BEAR ATTACKING WALRUS 2017-10 (October 2017)
BEAR CUB WITH SEAL 2017-03 (March 2017)
BEAR WITH SEAL 2018-11 (November 2018)
BIRD CREATURE WITH HOODED FIGURE 2018-05 (May 2018)
BIRD EATING A FISH 2011-11 (November 2011)
BIRD MAN 2011-11 (November 2011)
BIRD SHAMAN HOLDING SEAL FLIPPERS 2016-06 (June 2016)
BIRD SHAMAN WITH RIB BONE 2014-06 (June 2014)
BIRD SHAMAN WITH SPIRIT AND CHILD 2019-02 (February 2019)
BIRD SPIRIT 2016-11 (November 2016)
BIRD SPIRIT (NATTURALIK) 2018-11 (November 2018)
BIRD SPIRITS 2008-04 (April 2008)
BIRD STRETCHING WING 2012-04 (April 2012)
BIRD/SHAMAN 2008-04 (April 2008)
CARIBOU 2012-02 (February 2012)
CARVED TUSK WITH INCISED ARCTIC SCENES 2017-03 (March 2017)
CREATURE 2009-04 (April 2009)
CROUCHING HUNTER 2012-04 (April 2012)
DANCING MAN 2013-02 (February 2013)
DANCING WOMAN 2007-11 (November 2007)
ETCHED COLUMN 2007-11 (November 2007)
FALCON 2018-09 (September 2018)
FALCON FAMILY 2013-11 (November 2013)
FATHER AND SON 2015-01 (January 2015)
FISHERMAN 2011-11 (November 2011)
GROWLING POLAR BEAR 2013-11 (November 2013)
HAWK 2010-11 (November 2010)
HEAD OF WOMAN AND BIRD TRANSFORMATION 2012-02 (February 2012)
HUNTER 2017-06 (June 2017)
HUNTER WITH A KUDLIK 2011-11 (November 2011)
HUNTER WITH A SEAL 2011-11 (November 2011)
HUNTERS 2012-03 (March 2012)
KNEELING HUNTER WITH CATCH; HUNTER WITH TOOL 2012-02 (February 2012)
KNEELING MAN 2011-11 (November 2011)
MAGIC MAN 2016-11 (November 2016)
MAN HOLDING A DECAPITATED HEAD 2016-06 (June 2016)
MAN WITH BIRD HOLDING CREATURE 2015-10 (October 2015)
MAN WITH PRINT BLOCK 2012-05 (May 2012)
MAN WITH SEAL AND KUDLIK 2012-05 (May 2012)
MAN; HUNTER 2012-11 (November 2012)
MOTHER AND CHILD 2015-01 (January 2015)
MOTHER AND HER TWO CHILDREN 2013-02 (February 2013)
MOTHER CARRYING CHILD IN HER AMAUT 2009-04 (April 2009)
MOTHER HOLDING CHILD 2014-11 (November 2014)
MOTHER WITH CHILD IN AMAUT 2014-09 (September 2014)
MYTHICAL CREATURES 2007-11 (November 2007)
NATTURALIK AND YOUNG 2019-09 (September 2019)
OWL DESCENDING ON WALRUS 2014-10 (October 2014)
POLAR BEAR AND YOUNG 2013-11 (November 2013)
SEAL TRANSFORMATION 2008-11 (November 2008)
SEDNA 2020-06 (June 2020)
SHAMAN 2010-11 (November 2010)
SHAMAN WITH SPIRIT HELPER 2019-11 (November 2019)
SPIRITS ON THE LAND 2018-05 (May 2018)
SQUATTING HUNTER 2011-10 (October 2011)
STANDING HUNTER 2014-06 (June 2014)
STANDING MAN 2014-01 (January 2014)
STANDING WOMAN 2007-11 (November 2007)
TRANSFORMATION 2012-04 (April 2012)
TUSK ETCHED WITH ARCTIC ANIMALS ON BASE 2016-09 (September 2016)
TWO CARIBOU 2012-02 (February 2012)
TWO HEADS 2012-03 (March 2012)
UNTITLED 2020-03 (March 2020)
WOMAN FISHING 2011-11 (November 2011)

Recent Auction Results

SEDNA
Estimate: 700 — 1,000
Sold: Jun 2020 — Sold For: $720
UNTITLED
Estimate: 400 — 600
Sold: Mar 2020 — Sold For: $240
SHAMAN WITH SPIRIT HELPER
Estimate: 6,000 — 9,000
Sold: Nov 2019 — Sold For: $9,000
NATTURALIK AND YOUNG
Estimate: 3,000 — 5,000
Sold: Sep 2019 — Sold For: $3,120
BIRD SHAMAN WITH SPIRIT AND CHILD
Estimate: 400 — 600
Sold: Feb 2019 — Sold For: $1,020
BEAR WITH SEAL
Estimate: 2,500 — 3,500
Sold: Nov 2018 — Sold For: $3,360

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