The gallery will be holding an exhibition in honour of the late Jutai Toonoo.
His drawings and prints had an international presence on par with other master print makers like Kenojuak Ashevak and Tim Pitseolak.
The gallery received some of his last works available and will be putting them on display. One of his master works - "Happy, 2013" was recently acquired by the gallery. It is one of his best works to date.
This is an original drawing created by Jutai Toonoo in 2013. (This a not a limited edition print, it is an original oil on paper drawing, only one was made by Jutai).
The coloration, subject matter, and texture of this drawing has resonated itself into a lasting image of memory. I made the assertion that these two drawings must be hung in our studio immediately.
This image exemplifies both Toonoos’s sense of being and the demons he struggled with on an everyday basis.
Jutai was born in an igloo on a cold December morning in 1959 just outside Cape Dorset. He recalls the traditional way of life of his family and learned by watching his father go about the daily tasks that enable the family to survive. He and his sister, renowned sculptor, Oviloo Tunnillie, learned about stone carving by watching their father. Jutai did his first carvings when he was seven years old.
By 1982, carving was his major source of income. One day he calculated his income and realized that he was making too little as a carver and decided to work in an office instead. Eventually he realized that sitting at a desk all day was not a life for him. In 1992 he resumed carving. In 1995 he also took his first jewellery and metalwork course and discovered a new artistic discipline.
Information courtesy of Nunavut Arctic College 1996.
Jutai Toonoo (1959 - 2015 )
Community: Cape Dorset
Jutai was an illustrator, printmaker and sculptor.
Jutai was born in an igloo on December 05,1959 just outside Cape Dorset.
Jutai Toonoo is a son of Inuit artists Sheojuk and Toonoo. He, along with his siblings—renowned sculptors Oviloo Tunnillie and Samonie Toonoo - learned to carve at a young age from his father and began his artistic career in the 1990s, beginning with sculpting and moving towards drawing and printmaking. Jutai became known for a bold art style that was representative of his emotional process. His works are dark and humorous, often focusing on religious themes or the social issues that concerned him within his community.
Collections: National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Ontario, McMichael Collection