Head, c. 1975 stone, 5 x 5 x 4 in (12.7 x 12.7 x 10.2 cm) unsigned.
ESTIMATE: $500 — $800
PRICE REALIZED: $480
Kovianituk was Baffin Island’s answer to Arviat’s Andy Miki (1980-1982). Kovianituk’s animal carvings (almost always birds or bears) are instantly recognizable for their blocky and greatly simplified forms, and yet they are still quite identifiable. For a fabulous depiction of mating bears by the artist see Marion Scott Gallery, Vision and Form (2003) p. 29.
It is not certain that Kovianituk carved any human figures, but a few human heads are known. This head is a small masterpiece of what the French call art brut (“rough art” or “raw art”), generally known in English as outsider art. Kovianituk made brilliant use of a random colour variation in the stone to fashion this mask-like visage.