Kananginak Pootoogook: Drawings and Prints from Kinngait
Hardcover, 84 pages
Size: 9 x 8 inches
Published with Dorset Fine Arts and Pomegranate Publishing, 2023
At the crossroads of traditional life on the land and increasing modernism in the Far North, Kananginak Pootoogook chronicled the Inuit world. For more than five decades, he was considered “the artistic hand and guiding voice” of his people, honoring the past while shepherding them into the future. With his family, Pootoogook was one of the first to move from the seasonal camp of his birth to the settlement at Kinngait, Nunavut. There, in his 20s, he worked tirelessly with government agent James Houston on what would become a legendary Inuit art-making tradition. In his own style of realism, Pootoogook―dubbed the Audubon of the North―celebrated life and legend through his drawings,prints, and carvings of animal and human existence in the Arctic, becoming one of the first and finest Inuit printmakers. Pootoogook cofounded the West Baffin Eskimo Co-operative, whose Kinngait Studios produced its inaugural print collection in 1959. From then to his death in 2010, Pootoogook created evocative pieces for their annual catalogues. In 1980 he was inducted into the Royal Academy of Arts, and in 2010 he was honored by Indspire―then the Canadian National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation―as an Awards Laureate for his lifetime contribution to the understanding and appreciation of Inuit art and culture. In 2017, he was the first Inuit artist to have his art shown in the Venice Biennale, a prestigious international event. Kananginak Pootoogook: Drawings and Prints from Kinngait is the first monograph on the artist’s work. More than eighty reproductions and photographs grace its pages, with critical context provided by Leslie Boyd, former director of Dorset Fine Arts, Toronto. Pootoogook’s popular appeal as an artist extended far beyond the boundaries of his Inuit homeland, and his artwork is held in the collections of galleries and museums worldwide.