Annie Pootoogook

Annie Pootoogook, Bear by the Window, 2004. Image courtesy The Gas Company Inc

Annie Pootoogook, Bear by the Window, 2004. Image courtesy The Gas Company Inc

Annie Pootoogook (b. 1969, Kinngait, Nunavut, Canada, d. 2016, Ottawa, Ontario Canada) comes from a long line of artists in Cape Dorset (known today as Kinngait) and began drawing in 1997. Within a decade, she became the catalyst for an explosion of creativity originating from Kinngait Studios. Her drawings challenged conventional expectations of ‘Inuit’ graphic art. An instinctive chronicler of her generation, Pootoogook created works peppered with images of daily life: from feasting, camping and hunting to current events seen on television, intimate personal eroticism as well as alcoholism and domestic violence. Her immediate success drew the attention of a broad cross-section of art collectors and signalled to artist colleagues in the North that there were no limits on subject matter and scale.

Annie Pootoogook’s drawings at Tate Liverpool serve as a diary of the artist’s life and are indicative of the sulijuk (‘true’ or ‘real’) tradition. Pootoogook worked with a singular clarity of vision, often depicting poignant moments of emotion or violence in intimate domestic environments. Immediate and direct in style, her drawings chronicle the everyday events of modern Inuit life in the small community of Kinngait as she saw it. Her realism is at odds with the traditional outdoor scenes that people have come to expect from Inuit art.

Dr Nancy Campbell, co-curator of Annie Pootoogook’s display at Tate Liverpool, has selected a series of 15 drawings that serve as a diary of the artist’s life.

Exhibitions include McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, Canada (2017); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2013); Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, USA (2012–13); National Gallery of Canada, Ontario, Canada (2009–10); documenta 12, Kassel, Germany (2007); and The Power Plant, Ontario, Canada (2006).

Annie Pootoogook at Tate Liverpool is curated by Dr Nancy Campbell 


Supported by

Canada Council for the Arts

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