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stone and antler, 7.5 x 12 x 2.75 in (19.1 x 30.5 x 7 cm)
signed in graphite and inscribed with disc number, " JOE E.9. 818";
dated 1968 to the accompanying igloo tag.



Purchased in at the Hudson Bay Store in Vancouver, December 1968;
Waddington's, 23 April 2007, Lot 171;
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, California. 

JOE TALIRUNILI (1893-1976) PUVIRNITUQ 'Standing Caribou' 1968

  • Please contact Dealer for more information


    Ingo Hessel  |    613-818-2100   |

    Nadine Di Monte

    647-286-5012   |

  • Additional Information

    Joe Talirunili probably began carving in 1950 with the encouragement of James Houston. A lovely Resting Caribou from 1952 is attributed to Talirunili in Darlene Wight’s Early Masters catalogue (p. 111) and may indeed be by him. Talirunili carved several caribou in the mid-late 1960s but they are not nearly as common as the artist’s delightful owls. Standing Caribou is by far the largest and most impressive example we have seen; in fact it is among the largest and finest of any single figures, animal or human, that Talirunili carved in his twenty-five year career.

    Standing Caribou is presented with the slightly wonky proportions that we have come to expect from Joe Talirunili’s animal subjects - its body is rather long and its legs rather short - but the artist nonetheless carved it with considerable realism and attention to detail and finish. With its lovely head and beautifully carved antlers, Standing Caribou is a remarkably elegant and stately animal portrait. As an exemplar of Talirunili’s unique brand of “folk art realism” it is every bit as important as one of Osuitok’s great “stylized realism” caribou. Superb.

    References: For a fine depiction of a caribou from 1952 attributed to the artist see Darlene Coward Wight, Early Masters: Inuit Sculpture 1949-1955,(Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 2006), p. 111. For examples of standing caribou see Marybelle Myers, ed., Joe Talirunili: “a grace beyond the reach of art” (Montreal: La Federation des cooperatives du Nouveau-Quebec), p. 12; and Marion Scott Gallery, Vision and Form: The Norman Zepp - Judith Varga Collection of Inuit Art (Vancouver: Marion Scott Gallery, 2003), p. 22.

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