Kangiqliniq/Rankin Inlet, depicting a mother and child, stone. height 6 1/8in, length 3 3/4in
Provenance: From the collection of Dr. R.G. Williamson, presented in the 1960's as a gift to the vendor, a life-long friend whose acquaintance with Williamson began prior to his emigration to Canada in the early 1950's.
Robert G. "Bob" Williamson (1931-2012) was a dedicated advocate of the Inuit. A Professor of Anthropology at the University of Saskatchewan, fluent in Inuktitut and the founder of Inuktitut Magazine, Williamson donated his sizable collection of Inuit sculpture to the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) in the late 1980's.
"The connections between artist and collector were strongest in the Keewatin area. Arriving at Rankin Inlet in 1960 shortly after its establishment, Robert Williamson was present during the initial period of Keewatin contemporary sculpture and took an active role in encouraging its growth. Artists regularly sought him out as an appreciative and discriminating audience. This special relationship is particularly evident in the case of John Tiktak and John Kavik, whose works form an important nuclei within the collection... The sculpture of many Keewatin artists - Tiktak, Tikeayak, Andy Miki, John Pangnark - exhibit reductive, even minimal tendencies. Stripped of superfluous information, reduced to essentials of form, the outward appearance of this work evokes comparisons to the art of Moore and Brancusi." (Zepp, Norman, June 1990, AGO News)
Cf: See Zepp, 1988, for an image of "Blind Man", a carving by Tiktak dated 1962, that shows very strong similarities in execution and form to the present lot. Additionally, see Elliot, George, et al, 1971, fig. 281, and Hessel, Ingo, 1998, p. 96, fig. 75, for a slightly later example of one the artist's maternity figures, a recurring theme.