When Annie Pootoogook won the Sobey Art Award in 2006, she cracked the glass ceiling for Inuit art, securing its place in contemporary Canadian art discourse and establishing herself as an artist of international importance. Her achievement sparked critical discussion around contemporary art as well as the absence, and growing presence, of Inuit art: an important conversation that continues to this day.
The life and death of Annie Pootoogook is a story of national significance. The complex narratives weaving through her short life speak to possibility and heartbreak, truth and reconciliation, the richness of community, and the depths of tragedy. These complexities are recorded in her arresting pencil crayon compositions. Her frank, sometimes challenging, sometimes amusing images of everyday life, acutely observed and marked by a linear control as taut as a wire, declare her as a major contributor to the landscape of contemporary Inuit art.
Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice accompanies an exhibition organized by the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the gallery of record for works on paper from Annie Pootoogook’s Inuit community of Kinngait (Cape Dorset). Under the direction of Nancy Campbell, this publication and the exhibition serve to commemorate the life and work of a remarkable artist a year after her tragically early death.
Nancy Campbell is a curator of contemporary Inuit art and has a doctorate from York University. She has produced numerous exhibitions, including he landmark Annie Pootoogook at the Power Plant in Toronto in 2006.