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Osuitok Ipeelee

Arts (2004)

One of Canada’s truly gifted sculptors, Osuitok Ipeelee is an internationally known carver and printmaker who was instrumental in the development of both art forms in Cape Dorset. He began carving in the 1940s and by 1951 had become one of the best carvers on the south Baffin Coast. His work varies in subject matter and form, ranging from animals to humans, from totally representational to abstract. He has an outstanding ability to work stone. He received attention outside the Arctic in the 1950s when his work was included in two exhibitions at the National Gallery in Ottawa. Since 1951 his work has been included in countless museum and gallery exhibitions around the world, including Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Australia and a number of solo exhibitions in North America and Germany. Mr. Ipeelee’s work is held in many fine collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Gallery, the Glenbow Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton. He presented a sculpture to Queen Elizabeth II in 1959 and was commissioned to carve the NWT Legislative Assembly’s official mace in 1952. Over the years, Mr. Ipeelee has made an outstanding contribution to Inuit art and in so doing, enriched the history and development of Canadian contemporary art.