"Looking Up: Contemporary Connections with Inuit Art"
"Looking Up: Contemporary Connections with Inuit Art," Winnipeg Art Gallery.
Looking Up: Contemporary Connections with Inuit Art, Winnipeg Art Gallery
Paul Butler’s first exhibition as curator of contemporary art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery explored an intriguing question: What impact did the gallery’s renowned Inuit collection have on the work of Winnipeg artists?
Butler selected eight Manitoba artists – including such notables as Michael Dumontier, Neil Farber and Aganetha Dyck – who then chose work by 20 Inuit artists from the permanent collection. The resulting visual dialogues are engaging, as is the e-mail conversation reproduced in this exhibition catalogue.
The southern artists collectively grapple with issues related to voice, representation, mythology, market forces and more. What’s most apparent is the respect and fascination of these artists, some of whom first saw the Inuit collection as children. Butler, at one point, goes as far as describing the project as “a type of fanzine.” Artist Krisjanis Kaktins-Gorsline suggests the Inuit art collection illustrates the country’s “beguiling cultural matrix” and the “historical mangle” that resulted in the Canada we know today.