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 accompanied 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 after her tragically early death.
Nancy Campbell is an independent curator of Inuit and Canadian contemporary art. She has curated exhibitions for the Liverpool Biennial, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, and McMichael Canadian Art Collection. Her books include Shuvinai Ashoona: Life & Work, Annie Pootoogook: Cutting Ice, and Itee Pootoogook: Hymns to the Silence.
"Armed with a clutch of coloured pencils and an often subversive vision, the artist made vivid the shifting contours of Inuit life. "
"Simply gorgeous. "
— Janyce Boynton, Collage Artist
"The book not only celebrates the work of Pootoogook, but also examines it in the context of truth and reconciliation, colonization and cultural globalization. "
— Lynn Saxberg