For our 30th anniversary issue, the IAQ asked 15 leading figures in Inuit art to nominate an early-career artist to watch. In turn, those artists selected a senior talent who has inspired them. The result is “30 Artists to Know”, an expansive portfolio exploring the intergenerational, familial and community-based bonds that are made visible through art.
At 47, Tony Anguhalluq is part of a generation of Inuit drawers and printmakers who are extending and reinventing northern graphic traditions. The adopted son of Luke Anguhadluq and Marion Tuu’luq, Tony’s images differ markedly from those artists of an earlier generation who isolated individual figures against a blank background, rather than representing the land directly in their work. Tony fills the visual field making the land and landscape his direct and principal subject. In his exuberant and enigmatic images, Tony visualizes the treeless, hilled terrain and flowing waterways, in and around his Qamani’tuaq (Baker Lake) hometown, as a series of overlapping abstract contoured blocks of solid colour. Eschewing uniform perspective and shading, Tony economically uses striking colour contrasts and stylized lines as an alternative way to index depth or recession. While the contoured northern landscape is the chief focus of his drawings, many of these works also include images—portraits, really—of northern animals and of people engaged in seasonal activities, such as hunting, fishing and camping. Tony documents the traditions and historical ways of his people, even as he suggests a rhythm in human activity consonant with the rhythms of the land that are so powerfully his subject. – Robert Kardosh
I am mainly inspired by my father, Luke Anguhadluq. His work is really nice, and I like how he showed his ideas and his history on paper. I remember watching him draw when I was maybe 9 or 10. I was too young to draw then. I first started drawing in 2006. I came down to Vancouver to see Bob [Robert] Kardosh at Marion Scott Gallery, and he showed me my dad’s drawings then. That was interesting to see.
I’m trying to do something a bit different, but I’m always looking to see if there’s anything similar between my dad’s landscapes and hunting scenes and what I’m doing. I think if my father could see my art today, he would probably like it. He’d say, “That’s a nice drawing—that’s what Inuit used to do.” It’s still about land and camping. – Tony Anguhalluq
Kardosh is Director of the Marion Scott Gallery in Vancouver, BC, where since 1990 he has curated solo and group exhibitions of work by Inuit artists. Starting in 2005, Kardosh began writing on contemporary artists for the IAQ including Nick Sikkuark (20.1, Spring 2005), Kananginak Pootoogook (22.1, Spring 2007) and most recently Jamasee Pitseolak (30.1, Spring 2017).
These profiles appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of the Inuit Art Quarterly.
30 Artists to Know Feature