Published: November 27, 2007
“Inuit Images: Art from the Canadian Arctic” is on view at the Pauley Center at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts through January 13.
The Inuit people, often referred to as Eskimos, have lived in Canada’s Arctic region for thousands of years. While sculpting and decorative animal-skin appliqué have long been a part of the Inuit tradition, printmaking did not begin in the Arctic until 1957.
The Inuits’ struggle under conditions of physical hardship has given their artwork a distinctive form and character. The 14 prints in this exhibition demonstrate many of the ways in which the Inuit reveal themselves through their art.
Powerful animal and human forms often stand out as isolated images; unusual points of view are depicted along with a lack of concern for background or perspective. References to the spirit world and the ancient religion of shamanism are often seen.
What can best be noted in these colorful prints are the Inuit artists’ strong ties to the land and their heritage. The prints are proof of the keen skills of observation that have been preserved by the Inuit, one of the world’s last-surviving hunting societies.
For information, 804-204-2682 or www.vmfa.state.va.us .
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