Inuit art: Transformation Spirit
Inuit Artist: Alex Alikashusk
Size: 11" tall, 3" wide, 3" deep
Community: Whale Cove, NU
Alex Alikashusk is one of Canada's greatest and most respected Inuit carvers In the late 1990s, Alex's work began to appear in innumerable exhibitions. Currently, his work is displayed in the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG).
Have you ever seen an abstract form of Inuit sculpture?
What exactly is Abstract art?
Sometimes, art doesn't resemble anything in the real world.
Are you looking at Alex's piece and wondering what on earth was he thinking?
In the early 20th century, artists like Pablo Picasso rejected the idea that all art had to rely on forms resembling objects or things.
Realism was abandoned by some artists. The idea of Abstraction (where art was no longer tied to references to the real world) became popular.
Using my Realism eyes, my inclination is to interpret the components of this carving as they relate to Reality.
I see a large oval head and long spirals that could be legs. The proportions are all wrong. The face looks like a mask. I'm confused. What is Alex telling us? Realism isn't working for me.
So, I put my preconceived ideas aside.
Now I see, gentle flowing energy.
I see anonymity and femininity.
I see deep rich velvet black stone bouncing light around the room.
Maybe the trick to Abstraction is that you begin to "feel" rather than simply see.
"Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes" - Arshille Gorky
I was drawn to this figure immediately but it took me some time to bond to it.
Now, I don't understand why there isn't more Abstraction in Inuit carving.
This sculpture would be an exceptional gift for the incomparable person in your life.
See our April 2, 2021 blog Spotlight on the Art Collector.
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