Inuit Art Auction

Lot 63
KAROO ASHEVAK (1940-1974), E4-196, Spence Bay / Taloyoak

SHAMAN DRUM DANCING, bone, signed in syllabics, c. 1971,
22.99" x 10.00" x 15.00"
58.40 x 25.40 x 38.10 cm
Spence Bay / Taloyoak

Est. $20000/25000
Realised: Please contact us for the value of this item
Auction Date: 05/30/2017

Provenance: Waddington’s Auctioneers & Appraisers, November 1983, lot 101A, Private Collection, Toronto

Literature: Jean Blodgett, Karoo Ashevak, The Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1977, unpaginated

Note: For Ashevak, “The subject matter of the majority of his sculpture is directly related to his own cultural heritage... his roots were very deep in the Netsilik spiritual world of the Central Arctic. Religious beliefs and ritual observances had a great influence on Netsilik social life and formed the intellectual basis of its culture.” The shaman, being the one consistent theme in Ashevak’s work, “performed some of his more spectacular feats during shamanic seances. To set the stage in most such ceremonies and gatherings, all those present were united under the influence of concerted drumming, dancing and singing done by the shaman with the accompaniment of his audience. The essential ritual instrument of the Eskimo shaman remains the drum.” Ashevak’s work has always appealed to a wider collector base. Even with his work’s strong spiritual undertones they surpass the preconceived notions of what Inuit Art is or should be. His works are unmatched in artistic quality and skillful execution; they belong, and do reside, in the most important private and public art collections. In fact, this particular Shaman Drum Dancing lived amongst a prestigious private collection of historical Canadian artwork for the last three and a half decades. Last season, at Waddington’s, the market set a new benchmark for the value of his sculptures with a record price of $132,000 for his Spirit Faces.

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