Printmaker: IYOLA KINGWATSIAK (1933-2000) m., KINNGAIT (CAPE DORSET)
Night Demons of Sky And Earth, 1961 #54
stonecut, 24.25 x 36.75 in (61.6 x 93.3 cm)
Estimate: $1,200— $1,800
Private Collection, Australia.
After seeing the graphics created by her cousin Kiakshuk, Pitseolak was intrigued by the prospect of making a better income. Best known for the lively drawings that depict her memories of everyday life as it was, Pitseolak also drew "little monsters" as she called them:
I bought some paper myself and I think I made four small drawings. I think I drew little monsters. I meant the drawings to be animals but they turned out to be funny-looking because I had never done drawings before… Jim Houston told me to draw the old ways, and I've been drawing the old ways and the monsters ever since .
Night Demons of Sky And Earth is an early and extraordinary example of her "little monsters." Beginning with the two-headed creature at the bottom, fantastical figures and forms unfurl upwards and outwards, create a lovely inverted pyramid-shaped composition. Printed by Iyola in monochrome black, the print is one of the loveliest examples of early 1960s spirit imagery and makes an interesting comparison to similar prints by Kenojuak.
1. Pitseolak in Dorothy Eber ed., Pitseolak: Pictures out of my life (Montreal/Toronto: Design Collaborative Books/Oxford University Press, 1971) unpaginated. This print, along with another of her "little monster" images, Perils of the Sea Traveller of 1960, is illustrated in this book.
References: Night Demons of Sky And Earth was illustrated in the 1990 publication Design Dimensions to illustrate what author Cynthia Maris Dantzic called "approximate or implied symmetry." See Cynthia Maris Dantzic, Design Dimensions : An Introduction to the Visual Surface, (Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1990), p. 46, Fig. 2.10, reproduced p. 49. For other "little monster" works see, Playing Kickball with Demons of 1960, and Man With Beasts of 1963 (First Arts, April 2020, Lot 14).