The first retrospective of this extraordinary artist, spanning 40-plus years of his career.
OTTAWA, ON, Nov. 29, 2023 /CNW/ – Until March 24, 2024, the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) presents Nick Sikkuark: Humour and Horror, the first retrospective devoted to Nattilingmiut artist Nick Sikkuark. The exhibition traces more than four decades of his career through over 100 artworks — books, sculptures, drawings and paintings — from the late 1960s until the artist’s death in 2013.
“It is an important moment for the National Gallery of Canada to be giving individual Inuit artists such as Nick Sikkuark due recognition for their artistic contributions. This first retrospective of Sikkuark’s art will be a revelation to many, as much a surprise to new audiences as to his long-time admirers who have yet to experience the full scope of his creative vision,” said Jean-François Bélisle, Director and CEO, NGC. “One of the remarkable strengths of Sikkuark’s artwork is how it relates to and connects with people in unexpected ways.”
“Nick Sikkuark’s legacy extends beyond his artistic prowess. He contributed to the evolution of Inuit art while staying true to his cultural roots. His works continue to be celebrated in galleries and museums worldwide, serving as a testament to his talent and his ability to bridge cultural divides through art. Nick Sikkuark’s artistic journey remains an inspiring testament to the resilience and creativity of the Inuit,” said Steven Loft, Vice-President, Indigenous Ways and Decolonization at the NGC.
For exhibition curator Christine Lalonde, Associate Curator at the NGC, “Nick Sikkuark’s art is an expression of his unique imagination and exceptional talent, personal experiences and cultural knowledge, and a deep understanding of what it means to be human, to feel sorrow and joy, courage and fear, humour and horror at life and all its expected and unexpected events.”
After working closely with Sikkuark in 2013, shortly before his death, her curatorial approach expanded to include many contributors, especially the Sikkuark family and Kugaaruk community members along with other individuals with first-hand knowledge and appreciation of Sikkuark’s art. The presentation of his artwork and accompanying catalogue interweave diverse perspectives and forms of knowledge that are equally necessary for understanding the artist’s history and artistic journey.
Born in the present-day Kitikmeot region of Nunavut, Nattilingmiut artist Nick Sikkuark was quietly successful, creating highly imaginative sculptures, drawings and paintings, all the while flourishing as an outlier within different art worlds. Sikkuark was part of the first generation of Inuit artists to introduce their visual expressions to the world
The public can also discover the artist through the screening of a documentary film in one of the exhibition spaces. Directed by Jordan Konek (Konek Productions), this film centres the viewer’s experience of the artist as he is best known in his community and brings voices of the latter to the fore.
The exhibition brings together works from private and public collections, including that of the NGC. It is made possible thanks to major sponsor Canadian North, with the support of Armstrong Fine Art Services and First Arts Premiers.
A richly illustrated trilingual catalogue accompanies the exhibition. It is on sale at the Boutique and online at ShopNGC.ca.
Find out more about the exhibition in this article by Christine Lalonde in NGC Magazine.
Ankosé: Everything is Connected / Tout est relié
The NGC is dedicated to amplifying voices through art and extending the reach and breadth of its collection, exhibitions program, and public activities to represent all Canadians, while centring Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Ankosé—an Anishinaabemowin word that means “everything is connected”—reflects the Gallery’s mission to create dynamic experiences that open hearts and minds, and allow for new ways of seeing ourselves, one another, and our diverse histories, through the visual arts. The NGC is home to a rich contemporary Indigenous international art collection, as well as important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian and European art from the 14th to the 21st century. Founded in 1880, the NGC has played a key role in Canadian culture for more than 140 years.
SOURCE National Gallery of Canada