Artist of the moment…..Osuitok Ipeelee

Osuitok Ipeelee was one of the first famous and world renown Inuit artists who was born in the Cape Dorset, Nunavet Territory, Canada in the year 1923. Ipeelee  loved to incorporate many different mediums in his carvings. His father was a respected carver named Ohotok. He sold his first carving done in ivory in the 1940s. James Houston, the urban Canadian that longed for more in life and moved to the wilderness and helped bring the Inuits much needed revenue from art that was lost from fur trading and trapping. Houston penned a book and a movie was made about his journeys. Check my previous post on James Houston.

Ipeelee was included in the trip of Inuit carvings that traveled the globe in the early 1970s, the first time the Inuit artists were put on the world stage.

Sadly as he got older Ipeelee developed Parkinson’s disease and switched a very minimal style. I would compare it to the great Edgar Degas and the way he simplified forms as his eyesight all but disappeared but he still wanted to create art, so he did!

Included in the National Gallery of Canada, the Vatican Art Collection, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Price range information: Most works range from $1,000 to $17,000.

In this clip we see a great example of using mixed media is shown is his sculpture of a caribou in the gallery. Rather than carve the entire work in stone, as many of his peers would do, the artist decided to use real antlers on the carving. A work of art might contain antlers, tusks, animal hide, ivory, and stone.

In this clip from Waddington’s auction house we visit a sculpture that is an etched tusk on a walrus head base.

Here we see a wonderful piece celebrating the mother and child relationship.

The artist passed away in 2005 at the age of 82 years old.

D

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