Indepth Arts News: |
"Holman: Forty Years of Graphic Art"
2001-03-22 until 2001-08-19
Winnipeg Art Gallery
This collaborative exhibition between Itsarnittakarvik:
Inuit Heritage Centre in Baker Lake, Nunavut, and the
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, grew out of a desire to
create an alternative model for understanding
contemporary Inuit art-one that would be in keeping with
the post-colonial climate of Nunavut. Working with the
Baker Lake sculptures in the Samuel and Esther Sarick
Collection at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the carvers
were asked to examine and reflect upon the values,
ethics, and aesthetics that guide their creative process
and to apply this understanding to the selection process
for the exhibition.
The carvers articulated rigorous aesthetic standards and
expressed admiration for accomplished works that showed
originality, novelty, and a distinct personal
style-echoing elements that contribute to our
understanding of great art as produced over the ages.
They spoke freely of the aesthetic and ethnographic
considerations and restraints placed on their artistic
production by a dominant white culture and their efforts
to produce thoughtful, meaningful work within a
cross-cultural environment. While Baker Lake has emerged
into a modern community, many traditional practices and
values endure. These impact how art is valued and the
artistNULLs role in contemporary Inuit society.
The premise of the exhibition was not only to reconnect
the artists with some of their earliest sculptures but
also to have them define the ideological framework
within which that work was produced. The pieces they
selected, and the accompanying statements, are a
reflection of these thoughts, presented from their point
of view. The result is an exhibition that presents NULLart
by InuitNULL as a self-defined 20th century hybrid art
form, intensely poignant and rich.
This is the first major exhibition of visual art to be
organized by Inuit. It also marks the first time that
an exhibition organized by a northern institution tours
to art institutions in southern Canada. This exhibition
is made possible through a grant from the Canada Council
for the Arts.