Quvianaqtuk Pudlat: Monumental

EXCITED LOONS, 2022, Coloured pencil, ink, marker, pastel, 50 x 81 3/8 in.

Exhibition opened October 22, 2022

Out from Quvianaqtuk Pudlat’s drawings, knowledge emerges. Pudlat, a hunter, is an expert of the land and it’s animals. His intimate wildlife knowledge manifests thoughtfully in his large-scale depictions of the creatures of the North. The nuances, each revealing integral information about animal habits and behaviour, can be easily missed by the untrained eye and reveal facts about animal behaviour and habits. To a viewer unfamiliar, a polar bear swims; to Quvianaqtuk Pudlat: a bear swims long distances to seek out prey, sensing the air at the surface as it goes.

In this new series of large works, the artist often re-imagines the harsh reality of nature—from predator-prey scenarios to violent battles for the top of the dominance hierarchy. Also pictured are the daily observations of intricate animal behaviors, including vivacious cranes dancing (to form bonds with each other), and ptarmigans changing their plumage (a phenomenon that happens from winter to spring). Completed on a scale larger than the artist has worked on ever before, Pudlat’s images are admirably monumental both in size and importance of the subject matter, not only to the artist himself but to his community at large.

While wildlife proves to be Pudlat’s subject of choice, he is no stranger to experimentation of technique. In Spring 2020 he worked, for the first time, with the method of screen-printing. A year and a half later, he then traded in his printing inks and coloured pencils for a paint brush, creating black drybrush drawings on vibrantly coloured paper. The experiment freed the artist’s expressionistic energy, letting the movement of the animals sweep across the paper. In Monumental, the artist incorporates the dry brush splatter technique in works like Howling at the Moon (2021) and Caribou Avoiding Mosquitoes (2021). At 100 inches wide, Dancing Cranes (2022) is among the largest of Pudlat’s works to date, and like the series as a whole, is nothing short of monumental.

About the Artist
Kinngait-based artist Quvianaqtuk Pudlat (b. 1962) began his artistic career in 2017. 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 and movement which he then translates into his artistic work. Feheley Fine Arts presented Pudlat’s first solo-exhibition Quvianaqtuk Pudlat: Drawings in 2018, his second solo, Wild: Drawings by Quvianaqtuk Pudlat in October 2020, and a special presentation of the artist’s experimental brush drawings in Summer 2022. Monumental is Pudlat’s third solo at the gallery. His work can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, as well as numerous private collections across North America.

To view available artworks by the artist, click here.