It is with deep sadness we at the Contemporary Art Gallery learn of the death of Itee Pootoogook. His exhibition here last year proved a highlight of our program, it success seen in the positive reception from critics and visitors alike. We remember him fondly through his work which lives on.
The CAG exhibited Itee Pootoogook in 2013 with the solo exhibition Buildings and Land and an off-site commission Sky At Night at the Yaletown-Roundhouse Station, Canada Line. A selection of images from the exhibitions are seen above.
“His drawings of vernacular architecture in the North are daring in their simplicity, and his portraits of everyday activities, such as watching TV and fixing skidoos, are similarly unsettling in their apparent modesty and their claims about the sources and nature of Inuit art.”
– Lisa Gregoire, Nunatsiaq online
The Contemporary Art Gallery presents the first solo exhibition in a public institution of work by Canadian artist Itee Pootoogook. A resident of Cape Dorset, Nunavut, he belongs to a generation of Inuit artists who are transforming and reshaping the creative traditions that were successfully pioneered by their parents and grandparents during the second half of the 20th century. In his large-scale graphite and coloured pencil drawings, Pootoogook shows us an image of modern northern life quite different from the one we are accustomed to seeing both historically and in much Inuit work. In this vast and often inhospitable region, instead of traditional subjects such as igloos and parka-clad hunters and their prey, we are shown an everyday world, one made up of recognizable contemporary accoutrements including snowmobiles, boats, soft drinks and television sets.MORE
This series invites cultural and critical producers to present thoughts and ideas rooted in their own interests and practices, and invites audiences to join in the conversations that will explore relevant contemporary issues, theories, ideas and culture.
In response to the exhibition Itee Pootoogook, Buildings and Land, Crosby will discuss some aspects of her PhD research, which focuses on the formation of Aboriginal cultural production in urban spaces in Vancouver, B.C., for Native and non-Native publics; these include diverse forms of performativity, the display and sale of Aboriginally produced objects, and urban community supports by well-known First Nations artists through their association with new Aboriginal social organizations.
Marcia Crosby is currently completing her PhD in the Department of Art History and Visual Culture, UBC, and also works as an independent scholar. Crosby has a BFA in Fine Arts and English Literature, and an MA in Art History, UBC (1993), her MA thesis focused on the tension between representations of Aboriginal cultures and peoples in the public sphere, the work of Indigenous art and artists, and representations of Aboriginal title in B.C.
In addition to teaching literature and Native Studies at Vancouver Island University for 16 years, she has worked as a researcher, reviewing Aboriginal programs in public institutions. Her current work as a PhD candidate at UBC, builds on the curatorial work completed for the exhibition and accompanying publication, Nations in Urban Landscapes (Contemporary Art Gallery in 1994 and which toured to Oboro, Montréal, 1996), and the more recent exhibition: Aboriginal art in the city: Fine and Popular (2008), which is one of several web projects produced through the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, as part of Ruins in Progress: Vancouver Art in the Sixties. More recently in 2012, she co-curated with Karen Duffek, The Paintings of Henry Speck: Udz’stalis at the Belkin Satellite Gallery, Vancouver.
Next in the Feedback series:
Tuesday, July 23, 7pm
Tuesday, August 20, 7pm
This publication was produced on the occasion of the exhibition Nations in Urban Landscapes held at the Contemporary Art Gallery, October 28 to December 9, 1995 and at Oboro, Montreal in 1994. It includes texts by Marcia Crosby "Nations in Urban Landscapes" and "Lines, Lineage and Lies, or Borders, Boundaries and Bullshit" and Paul Chaat Smith "From Lake Geneva to the Finland Station" and includes a preface by Keith Wallace.MORE