stone, 14.5 x 7.5 x 7.5 in (36.8 x 19.1 x 19.1 cm)
Accompanied by a photographic portrait of the artist with the work by William Eakin, c. 1983-84.
Estimate: $9,000 — $12,000
Price realized: $7,560
Waddington’s Auctions, April 2009, Lot 299;
Acquired from the above by a Private Collection, U.K.
Although she is today considered to be one of Baker Lake’s most talented sculptors, Effie Angali’taaq Arnaluaq’s life and work are not well documented. She probably began carving in the mid-late 1960s; an important sculpture by her in the Zazelenchuk Collection dates from 1971 (see reference). She is the sister of the respected Baker Lake sculptors Martha Tickie and Marie Kuunnuaq, and the widow of Paul Toolooktook, with whom she often carved together until his death in 2003. She is best known by her previous married surname Arnaluaq, but signs her work “Angali’taaq.”
Standing Woman with Tattooed Face is a masterpiece of the classic Baker Lake style, easily holding its own against works by masters such as Arnasungaaq, Sevoga, and Aqigaaq. The sculpture compares to certain works by the renowned Baker Lake artist George Tatanniq (1910-1991). In particular we are reminded of his monumental Woman from 1973 in the Zazelenchuk Collection; the two works are similar in scale as well as in sensibility. Like the works of Tatanniq, Standing Woman with Tattooed Face possesses stillness, gravitas, and clarity of vision, despite being slightly more rough-hewn than the older artist’s works. Stunning.
References: For a major early work by the artist, see Jean Blodgett, The Zazelenchuk Collection of Eskimo Art (Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1978) cat. 7. See also the exhibition brochure Sisters: Martha Tickie and Effie Arnaluaq (Vancouver: Spirit Wrestler Gallery, 1997). Tatanniq’s Woman is cat. 43 in the Zazelenchuk catalogue (also cat. 73 in Norman Zepp’s Pure Vision from 1986).