LATCHOLASSIE AKESUK (1919-2000), Cape Dorset / Kinngait
OWLS AND BIRDS
7 x 9 x 2.5 in — 17.8 x 22.9 x 6.4 cm
One of Cape Dorset’s best-loved artists, Latcholassie was the son of the famous sculptor and graphic artist Tudlik and the brother of the Clyde River sculptor Solomonie Tigullaraq (Lot 71). His sculptures are notable especially for their sense of whimsy and humour, but often also for a certain degree of abstraction. In his “Remembrances” introduction to the 1998 Feheley Fine Arts catalogue of his collection, Terry Ryan wrote: “Latcholassie [like his father] would reflect this contained, imaginary and very personal approach to his work. Not unlike Parr, who never carved but whose drawings reflected that rare ability to call forward another time and place, his work was guileless and sincere” (p. 5).
Latcholassie’s favourite subjects were birds, especially owls. Many of his birds have human attributes and poses; while a few could be classified as transformation figures, most are simply playful anthropomorphic inventions. Owl and Birds is an utterly charming composition, depicting an unlikely trio that appears to be arranging itself for a group photo. Latcholassie might have been guileless but he was certainly not lacking in wit!
References: for a similar composition by the artist see Feheley Fine Arts, The Ryan Collection (Toronto, 1998) p. 10. For other important works by this artist see Gerald McMaster ed., Inuit Modern (2010) pp. 136-137; Sculpture/Inuit (Canadian Eskimo Arts Council/U of T), cats. 189, 192-194, 319, 334. See also Walker’s Nov. 2012, Lot 164; Nov. 2013, Lot 23; Nov. 2015, Lot 85.
First Arts: Inuit & First Nations Art Auction www.firstarts.ca
a Montreal private collection