Quvianaqtuk Pudlat: Experimentals


STUDY OF A WOLF IN MOTION, 2022, Ink, 28 1/4 x 40 1/8 in.

Deviating from his coloured pencil and ink drawings, this special presentation of a new series by Quvianaqtuk Pudlat features, for the first time, brush drawings completed in ink. Through this new medium, Pudlat transforms his usually naturalistic and meticulously drawn images of Arctic wildlife into abstract and expressive compositions. His black ink images are set boldly against iridescent backgrounds of various colours, leaping and crawling off the sheet in extraordinary ways.

The series represents a brief period of experimentation for the artist who picked up a paint brush for the first time in 2022. The lack of detail that can be rendered with a wide brush became an interesting challenge for Pudlat, a hunter who is known for his detailed and anatomically-correct depictions of animals. Beginning more figuratively, as seen in Study of a Wolf in Motion, Pudlat gradually moves toward more explosive and expressive marks as the series progresses. Eventually, he found himself shifting into complete abstraction, as seen in Composition (Gestural Abstract) entirely new territory for the artist.

What is enhanced through the technique of brush drawing is Pudlat’s incredible sense of movement. Not unlike his coloured pencil works, animals continue to curl and twist both elegantly and dramatically. The expression allowed by the swift line of a brush adds to this effect, giving Pudlat’s images an unprecedented fluidity. The colourful paper on which the animals’ silhouettes sit work to emulate the natural hues of a certain animal, such as in Study (Electric Raven) or Composition (Wolf), or, add a heightened intensity to a subject, such as the bright red background in Study (Raven). Through all media and modes of experimentation, Pudlat’s passion for Arctic wildlife shines through in incredible ways.

Written in consultation with Quvianaqtuk Pudlat over phone, July 2022.

About the Artist

Based in Kinngait, Nunavut, Quvianaqtuk Pudlat began his artistic career in 2017, and has already taken the art world by storm with his dynamic drawings. Pudlat is a naturalist. As a hunter and admirer of his natural environment, he devotes much of his time to observing animals on the land and sea. Pudlat notably spends time fishing and bird watching by his cabin located 25 miles away from Kinngait. There, he keeps a watchful eye on animal behaviour which he masterfully translates into his artistic work. Feheley Fine Arts presented Pudlat’s first solo-exhibition Quvianaqtuk Pudlat: Drawings in 2018, and hosted the artist’s second solo, Wild: Drawings by Quvianaqtuk Pudlat in October 2020. His work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.