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Ipeelee, Osuitok

Ipeelee, Osuitok

Kinngait (Cape Dorset)

(1923–2005)

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Ipeelee, Osuitok

(1923–2005)

Osuitok Ipeelee was an artist originally from the Neeouleeutalik Camp. He first learned to carve by watching his father Ohotok and then by experimenting in his teens with carving wood and other found materials. Eventually moving to Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU, Ipeelee became instrumental in the print and carving programs in the community, creating depictions of Arctic animals as well as humans engaged in traditional activities. Caribou were among his preferred subject matter, crafting their elegant bodies from stone and antler, such as his work Standing Caribou (1985). In 1955, along with Peter Pitseolak, Ipeelee directed a team of craftsmen to carve the official mace for the Council of the Northwest Territories. In 1959, he was also commissioned to create a sculpture of Queen Elizabeth II, which was presented to her upon her visit to Canada that same year.

Ipeelee, Osuitok

Artist biographies provided with permission by the Inuit Art Foundation. All rights reserved.

Standing Caribou

1985
stone (serpentinite)
28.6 x 26.7 x 7.6 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Gift of Bob and Marlene Stafford
2012-81

  • Standing Caribou

    About

    Standing Caribou

    Standing Caribou

    Widely considered one of the greatest of all Inuit sculptors, Osuitok Ipeelee learnt to carve at the age of 13 by watching his father make ivory carvings. Osuitok was one of the earliest carvers to create stone sculptures for export in the early 1950s and was instrumental in developing a printmaking program in Kinngait (Cape Dorset). Osuitok’s sculpture is known for its delicate detail, and his subjects are often precariously and harmoniously balanced on a small base. He created realistic animals and female figures, but his range of expression could also be abstract. The elegance of his work was much emulated but seldom matched.


  • Maxine Anguk Discusses Standing Caribou

    Video Story

    Maxine Anguk Discusses Standing Caribou

    Maxine Anguk Discusses Standing Caribou


  • Arctic Animals

    Video Story

    Arctic Animals

    Arctic Animals


  • Standing Caribou

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    Standing Caribou

    Standing Caribou