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stone and antler, 15.75 x 10 x 7.25 in (40 x 25.4 x 18.4 cm)
signed, "ᑕᑕᓂ".


George Tatanniq generally carved works on a quite modest scale. This stupendous sculpture, on the other hand, is one of the largest works carved by the renowned Baker Lake artist. [1] In terms of both monumentality and quality, it easily holds its own against the most impressive works by Barnabus Arnasungaaq, Peter Sevoga, and Tuna Iquliq. It was Tatanniq, it should be noted, who was the sole Baker Lake stone sculptor chosen for Norman Zepp’s Pure Vision: The Keewatin Spirit exhibition of 1986 (see cats. 66-73).


Instead of investing his works with the rhythmic movement, power, and energy that typically characterize sculptures by his mostly male Baker Lake peers, Tatanniq manages to achieve a timeless sense of calm and stillness, even in occasionally monumental works, such as in this Mother and Child. This impressive sculpture possesses all the essential elements of Tatanniq’s style: gentleness and serenity, understated elegance, and the clean, almost crisp lines and matte finish that define his workmanship. Tatanniq’s subtle interplay of line and volume is particularly masterful with this work. It is evident everywhere, including in the broad shoulders of the mother’s amautiq; the lovely sweep of its rear flap; the magnificent arc of the hood that conveys the weight of her child. These same shapes are subtly echoed on a smaller scale in the modeled faces of mother and child. This large work is beautifully balanced as well; we love how the bodies of the mother and the child she carries tilt slightly away from each other. In the final analysis, the most impressive thing about this masterpiece is not its size but its nuances.


1. For three equally large and impressive works by Tatanniq, see First Arts, Toronto, 13 July 2021, Lot 49; Norman Zepp, Pure Vision: The Keewatin Spirit, (Regina: Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1986), cat. 73; and Walker’s Auctions, Ottawa, 3 November 2013, Lot 29.


For very similar works by the artist see Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Zazelenchuk Collection of Eskimo Art, (Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1978), cat. 43; also ill. in Zepp, Pure Vision, cat. 73, and in Bernadette Driscoll, The Inuit Amautik: I Like My Hood To Be Full, (Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1980), cat. 57, p. 36. See various works and a discussion of them in Norman Zepp’s Pure Vision, pp. 47-48 and 120-129.


  • Additional information


    Acquired from Boris Kotelewetz, Baker Lake in the 1970s; 

    Private Collection, Toronto; 

    Acquired in 1994 by the present Private Collection, Toronto.

  • Please contact Dealer for more information


    Ingo Hessel  |    613-818-2100   |

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