JOHN KAVIK (1897-1993), KANGIQLINIQ (RANKIN INLET)
Untitled (People, Muskoxen, and Birds)*, c. 1979-80
pen and crayon drawing, 29.875 x 22.175 in (76 x 56 cm)
ESTIMATE: $3,500— $5,000
PRICE REALIZED: $3,600
Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Vancouver;
Acquired from the above by the Private Collection, Toronto, 2000.
Exhibited and Published
Spirit Wrestler Gallery, Keewatin 2000 (Vancouver, 2000), cat. R29. (*Note: the drawing was titled People and Spirits in the exhibition catalogue.)
I recall the first time Kavik was introduced to drawing. After he had completed two drawings he told me that drawing was very difficult work, much more so than carving. It must have been, for he did not draw again until nearly a year later. The second time he came of his own volition and asked for paper. I gave him some and as always I refrained from offering any suggestions. About a week later he brought back two delightful drawings - one of caribou, the other a herd of musk-oxen .
We think this drawing could very well be one of Kavik's earliest attempts from 1979, as requested by his friend Stanley Zazelenchuk. It has the sense of hesitancy that we see in the very earliest drawings by Parr and Luke Anguhadluq (Kavik's childhood friend), but it already has the raw energy so evident in Kavik's sculptural works. Interestingly, Kavik has drawn a ground plane but pays little attention to it; the figures of people and animals are seemingly scattered about, oriented in various directions. Zany, and wonderful.
1. Stanley Zazelenchuk in Jean Blodgett, The Zazelenchuk Collection of Eskimo Art (Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1978), p. 9.
References: For two slightly later drawings by the artist see Marion Jackson and Judith Nasby, Contemporary Inuit Drawings (Guelph: Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, 1987), cats. 8-9. For other examples see Walker's Auctions, May 2016, Lot 43, Nov. 2016, Lot 125, and Nov. 2017, Lot 31.