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McMichael showcases work of celebrated artist Elisapee Ishulutaq


Elisapee Ishulutaq was a celebrated printmaker and graphic artist born at the seasonal camp Kagiqtuqjuaq in the Northwest Territories. She later moved to Panniqtuuq (Pangnirtung), NU, where she lived and worked.

After moving to Panniqtuuq, Ishulutaq began her artistic practice and quickly started selling her work. She was included in the first Pangnirtung Print Collection in 1973 as well as each subsequent year a print collection was released.

While Ishulutaq mostly worked in print and drawings, she also carved and transformed many of her prints into tapestries.

Elisapee Ishulutaq: My World, at the McMicheal Canadian Art Collection until October 30, is the first solo museum exhibition of works by the exceptional Inuit artist focusing on her epic works on paper in pencil and oil stick.According to the gallery, “Her works immerse us in the experience of daily life in her home community of Pangnirtung, located on a spectacular mountainous fjord in Baffin Island, Nunuvut, capturing the community’s way of life in vibrant colour.

“Ishulutaq’s drawings are bold in their minimalism, her high-contrast forms evoking the dramatic mountainscapes that surround her community. Large panoramic drawings provide holistic views of life in the hamlet of Pangnirtung, while smaller works evoke the dazzling world of birds in flight, boats at sea, or the inky back expanses of the night sky in the depths of winter. Intriguing, too, are her hybrid scenes in which Arctic realities are counterbalanced by imagery from an imaginary south—and the unexpected appearances of elephants or leafy trees.”

This exhibition extends the longstanding commitment of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection to the art of Canada’s North, bringing to light an artist whose accomplishments have yet to be fully celebrated.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication that will include an introductory essay by McMichael Chief Curator Sarah Milroy, a lead essay by Inuit writer and artist Tarralik Duffy, and a contribution from Darlene Wight, Curator of Inuit Art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery, who knew Elisapee Ishulutaq during her lifetime.

Elisapee Ishulutaq: My World

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

10365 Islington Ave., Kleinburg

For tickets, please click here.

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