Monday, October 10, 2011

Pablo Picasso, meet Kenojuak Ashevak

Kenojuak Ashevak is an Inuit artist who produces prints with all the ethereal beauty of the Baffin Island landscape she grew up on. Her artwork are studies in the transformation of simple forms into traditional iconography. The spirit forms of various creatures are depicted in an elegant centralized composition, suggesting autonomy as well as the links to their mythological significance.

Ravens Entwined, lithograph

Birds from the Sea, stencil, 1960

and my personal favorite; Arrival of the Sun, stonecut, 1962

Inuit and Native American art in general has not traditionally been considered important to the Western World's conception of what art ought to look like, but as the world becomes increasingly globalized, we begin to look back to time-tested cultures for more natural solutions to the problems of representation and of life. Kenojuak's prints are successful at expressing that which is most urgent and primitive. They strive for order and meaning, without complication, as we do in life as well as image-making. See more of her work here.

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