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LOT 020

Niviaksiak (Niviaxie)
1908 - 1959
Canadian Indigenous

Eskimo Summer Tent
skin stencil
signed, titled, editioned 30/10, dated April 1959, inscribed "Cape Dorset, Baffin Island" and "Skin Stencil" and stamped by the Canadian Eskimo Art Committee and on verso certified by the Canadian Eskimo Art label
16 1/4 x 14 7/8 in 41.3 x 37.8 cm

Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000

Sold for: $5,850

Preview at: Heffel Vancouver

An Important Private Estate, Montreal

This fine skin stencil by Niviaksiak, also known as Niviaxie, depicts the activities of the summer encampment, when the Cape Dorset people hunted and fished to build stores for the long winter ahead. His use of the skin stencil had its origins in the practice of cutting out skin appliqués for the decoration of clothing, in which colours were brushed through an opening to form images. Typical of Niviaksiak’s work is the distinctive blue and black palette with softly modulated colour areas, his graceful use of line and simple yet evocative form. When James Houston introduced printmaking to the Cape Dorset people in 1957, Niviaksiak was one of the first to produce prints, and was considered one of their finest artists. The unique work of Inuit artists soon gained the attention of the art community both in Canada and internationally. British art dealer Charles Gimpel sought an exhibition of Inuit work for his gallery in the 1950s, Time magazine published an article on Cape Dorset art in 1960, and institutions such the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York collected the work.

Estimate: $6,000 - $8,000

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business.