Inuit art: Standing Bear
Inuit Artist: Lukie (Luke) Airut
Size: 23" high, 8" wide, 8" deep, 58 lbs
Community: Igloolik, NU
Stone: Limestone (white for the bear, black for the claws and eyes)
This is a towering and monumental masterpiece by world renowned Inuit artist, Lukie Airut. This carving is a beautiful centrepiece for any gallery or museum.
This carving eclipses its surroundings with its eye popping features and stunning visage. The detail of the etched in fur and claws are immaculate.
This monumental work is unique in Airut's oeuvre in that it strays from his medium sized dancing bears. Lukie Airut is just as famous for his depiction of polar bears as other great artists like Nuna Parr and Joe Kavik. He has created an impressive body of sculptures depicting seals, walruses and other animals, although, it is his affinity with polar bears that has captured the imagination of collectors.
This magnificent polar bear shows Airut at his best. His workmanship in the naturalistic portrayal of a bear is excellent, however, the truly remarkable aspects of this bear are its concept and its sense of balance.
Everything about this piece is incredibly beautiful which is what makes it one of my favourite carvings to ever make its way into our gallery. The carved-in eyes and the fur contrast spectacularly to the bear and create an added depth that contribute to the overall realism of the carving. Airut is a brilliant artist and one of the most famous artists in the world.
Lukie Airut (1942 - 2018)
Community: Igloolik (born in Alanarjuk Lake)
Lukie AirutLukie (Luke) is a first generation master Inuit artist, he learned to carve from his father George Kappianaq. Lukie's younger brother, Bart Hanna, is also a well-known Inuit artist. Lukie originally started making sculptures to support his family as there were not many other employment opportunities in the community. Now he is a well established and internationally respected Inuit artist. He works with stone and whale bone. Lukie carves every day except when he he goes hunting and fishing to provide food for the family and community. Often he brings back stone and bone from these hunting trips.
Lukie attended Nunavut Arctic College, where he specialized in the fine art of jewellery making. Lukie's sculptures are very detailed and sophisticated, often multidimensional.
Carvings from Igloolik are very unique and original from what you would see from other Inuit communities. The artists here have a different culture when it comes to carving. Rather than attempting dancing bears or transformations, they strive to make their piece in a traditional manner depicting a sense of realism and natural habitat of the Inuit and animals of the North.
The Museum of Inuit Art, Mississauga, ON, Canada The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB, Canada The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, ON The University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, ON