A striking survey of the history of work from Kinngait Studios

October 12, 2019
Joel Sears, Feheley Blogger

It isn’t every day that you see such a vivid demonstration of the evolution of Inuit art as is on display currently at Feheley. In fact, we’ve never assembled or seen a collection that spans the entire output from the studio formerly known as Cape Dorset unfold before your eyes.

It says something about the Feheley vault that they were able to select a print from each year of the Kinngait Studios’ 60-year history (with the lone exception of a fine work from 1959 on loan from Dorset Fine Arts).

When you see all 60 prints together, you can’t help but reflect on the pushes and pulls that underscore the history of Inuit art. You see elements of the South making their way into the world and art of the Inuit. You see the style moving away from the traditional storytelling and symbols of the earlier works, to a grittier, more naturalistic rendering. The social backstory comes into clearer focus. The colours become more saturated.

It makes for a fascinating study. But this exhibition is not to be admired for its curatorial excellence alone. Seeing these prints in chronological order, through the decades, is a visceral experience. It’s like watching someone grow up in front of you. It’s also visually stunning.

The 60/60 Exhibition runs through November 12, 2019