The Visitors and the Visited, 2001
serpentine, caribou antler, musk-ox hair, 19½" × 21" × 7"
Throat Singing, 2001
serpentine, caribou antler, musk-ox hair, sinew, 24" × 16" × 7"
Wind From Behind, 2001
serpentine, caribou antler, musk-ox hair, sinew, 28½" × 14" × 8"
Mattiusi Iyaituk Artist Biography
Mattiusi Iyaituk was born in 1950 in Kikitajuar, near Akulivik, Quebec, Canada. His family moved to Ivujivik when he was four years old. A self-taught artist, Iyaituk began carving at the age of fifteen after being inspired by other artists such as his father and older brother. He held various jobs, including a position with the Quebec Provincial Police, until he began carving full-time in 1979. Since then, Iyaituk had adopted an abstract style that reduces details to their most simplistic form. Typically, his highly evocative works are a combination of different types of stone, set off with muskox hair and inlaid caribou antler and whale bone. Iyaituk has stated that he feels his artwork bridges different worlds - the abstract forms are considered by many to be in the modernist tradition, combined with the more traditional Inuit technique of inlaying.
In 1991, Iyaituk became the director of the Inuit Art Foundation. He has travelled extensively as an art consultant, including accompanying the exhibition Transitions: Contemporary Indian and Inuit Art to Taiwan in 1999. He has also exhibited in Europe, and the United States.
I met Mattiusi in 1983. His great smile and sense of humour impressed me instantly and, after seeing his sculptures, I did not hesitate in offering him a solo show at Gallery Phillip. Many pieces sold before the opening due to their tremendous impact. His work is radically different from other Inuit carvers they emanate a powerful energy.
In his recent work, Mattiusi experiments with a variety of materials stone is often combined with muskox hair or antler to create complex figures with distinct facial expressions. The use of antler suggests the human form while the faces are stylized and exaggerated, lending a dramatic effect to the work. Mattiusi's evocative titles and the distinct mixture of the expressive and the simple make him a worthy successor to such masters as Henry Moore.
| Phillip Gevik, Director|