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George Arluk (1949-)

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  • GEORGE ARLUK, SPIRIT FIGURES, stone, 6.75" x 6.5" x 12.25" - 17.1 x 16.5 x 31.1 cm. (5 Pieces)

  • GEORGE ARLUK (1949-), E3-1049, ArviatFACE

  • GEORGE ARLUK (1949-), E3-1049, ArviatSPIDER SPIRIT, stone, 1976, signed in Roman, 3" x 6" x 3.75" - 7.6 x 15.2 x 9.5 cm.

  • [ INUIT ART ]

George Arluk Biography

GEORGE ARLUK (AIYARANI; ARLOO; ARLOOK; ARLU; ARLOOQ)
Born: May 5, 1949 Male E3-1049
Place of Birth: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Resides: Arviat; also lived in Baker Lake, Rankin Inlet
Sculpture


The sculpture of George Arlook appears non-traditional in many ways. As one of the foremost Inuit artists in the Keewatin Region, Northwest Territories, Arlook works in a highly formalized abstract expression, a departure from the more realistic depiction of Inuit life and art common to other artists. This form of expression is characteristic of the great master sculptors John Tiktak, John Pangnark, and John Kavik, all of whom exercised considerable influence over the young Arlook, as he served his "apprenticeship" as a carver under their tutelage in Rankin Inlet. Arlook's current work is a tribute to his teachers and an extension of the form through his highly personalized rendering of various themes.

George Arlook was born on May 5, 1949, at the King George Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba (hence the choice of his Christian name). He is the fourth child from a family of seven, and is the only one who carves. He spent his early childhood in Eskimo Point (now called Arivat), and has always considered it to be his home. His father, Sevuoi Aiyarani, was also a carver. Charlie Panigoniak, his brother, is a well known singer and song-writer in the north. George traveled extensively, and has lived and worked in Rankin Inlet, Baker Lake, Chesterfield Inlet, Winnipeg, and Churchil1, Manitoba.

Arlook lived in Rankin Inlet from 1956 to 1975. He began to teach himself how to carve at the age of nine, and sold his first piece for 75 cents in 1960. By 1968, George was becoming known as a very talented and original artist, He studied the works of Tiktak, Kavik, and Pierre Karlik, and spent many hours in conversation with these artists. As he gained confidence in his ability to work with the hard stone of the Keewatin region, he was encouraged by the older carvers to test his own expression.

While working with a variety of different stone types and experimenting with other media, Arlook has stretched his artistic vision in a contemporary style, all the while paying homage to the cultural and artistic traditions of the Keewatin master sculptors to which he is the heir. By the mid- 70s he had developed a highly unique style of semi-abstraction and became famous for it.

Arlook likes to depict single figures such as drum dancers, hunters, or mothers with babies in their hoods, as well as his favourite animal, the musk-ox. Sometimes he groups figures together to form abstracted compositions of gently curving forms that undulate rhythmically. Arlook's sculptures often have antler parts that protrude in complex patterns from the stone.



..."Arluk began to teach himself how to carve soapstone at age 9. In the
1960s he was influenced by sculptors Tiktak and Kavik and John Pangnark. By
the mid-1970s he had developed a unique style of semi-abstraction. He
depicts single figures such as hunters and mothers with babies in their
hoods. Most often he groups figures together to form abstracted compositions
of gently curving forms that undulate rythmically. His sculptures often have
antler parts added that protrude in complex patterns from the stone."

D. Wight
Canadian Encyclopedia 1985.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Following is an extract from an interview conducted by Joe Camp, a staff writer for
the St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch, with George Arlook from Arviat.

Camp states that Arlook uses soapstone (also called steatite), and when Arlook visited
friends in Minnesota, he used pipestone (also called catlinite). Camp states that "some of
the work has been done with a hacksaw, some with a hammer, and some with a hatchet, but
most of it was done with wood rasps, freeing the whale from captivity inside the stone".

Camp also states that the raw soapstone looks gray like driveway gravel; but when the
carving is finished, they take on hues of shiny green, gray, and black. We listen to the story
Arlook tells through observing the carved figure, and we participate in his story through
touching the stone that then connects us to the earth from where the stone was obtained.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
EXHIBITIONS:
January - March 1972 Eskimo Fantastic Art
Gallery 111, School of Art,
University of Manitoba
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(tour)
(illustrated catalogue)
1974 Inuit Sculpture 1974/Sculpture Inuit 1974
Lippel Gallery
Montreal, Quebec
(illustrated catalogue)
March - July 1976 The Mulders' Collection of Eskimo Sculpture
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(illustrated catalogue)
August - Sep 1977 Two Artists - Sculpture/Arlook,
Drawings/Qarlisaq
Image of the Inuit
Contempo Westwood Centre
Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

March - June 1978 The Coming and Going of the Shaman:
Eskimo Shamanism and Art
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(illustrated catalogue)
August - Nov 1978 The Zazelenchuk Collection of Eskimo Art
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(illustrated catalogue)
October - Nov 1978 Eskimo Art
Embankment Gallery
London, England
(illustrated catalogue)
March - April 1979 Sculpture of the Inuit: Lorne Balshine
Collection/Lou Osipov Collection/
Dr. Harry Winrob Collection
Surrey Art Gallery
Surrey, British Columbia
(illustrated catalogue)
July 1979 - May 1980 Inuit Art in the 1970s
Department of Indian Affairs
and Northern Development, and the
Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Kingston, Ontario
(tour)
(illustrated catalogue)
Nov - Dec 1979 In Celebration
Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
Montreal, Quebec
Jan - Feb 1980 Inuit Master Artists of the 1970s
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia

February - April 1981 Rankin Inlet/Kangirlliniq
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(illustrated catalogue)
Sep - Oct 1981 The Jacqui and Morris Shumiatcher
Collection of Inuit Art
Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery,
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan
(illustrated catalogue)
April 1982 Sculpture Inuit: Stone/Bone
circa 1960-1979
Canadiana Galleries
Edmonton, Alberta
Oct - Dec 1982 Collector's Choice: 1965-1980
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
Vancouver, British Columbia
(illustrated catalogue)
April - May 1986 Sixty Diminutive Eskimo Carvings
Images of the North
San Francisco, California
May - June 1986 The Spirit of the Land
The Koffler Gallery
Toronto, Ontario
(illustrated brochure)
May - June 1987 [Inuit Art Exhibition]
Whitby Arts Incorporated,
The Station Gallery
Whitby, Ontario
July - November 1987 Useful Bits of Bone
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba

September 1987 The Williamson Collection of
Inuit Sculpture
Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery,
University of Regina
Regina, Saskatchewan
(tour)
(illustrated catalogue)
Sep - Nov 1987 The Swinton Collection of Inuit Art
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(illustrated catalogue)
October 1987 [L'art inuit]
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Chambre de Commerce de Chateauroux
France
Nov - Dec 1987 Art Inuit
Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
Montreal, Quebec
Dec 1987 - Feb 1988 Inuk, Inuit: Art et tradition chez les
esquimaux d'hier et d'aujourd'hui
presented by L'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai,
at Musee des Beaux-arts d'Arras
Arras, France
(illustrated catalogue)
April 1988 [L'art inuit]
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Palais de L'Europe, Le Touquet
France
July 1988 [L'art inuit]
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Chapelle de la Visitation, Thonon
France
November 1988 [L'art inuit]
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Les Martres-de-Veyre
France
November 1988 Primitive Art from the Arctic
Arctic Artistry
Hartsdale, New York, U.S.A.
December 1988 [L'art inuit]
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Galerie des Tanneurs, Mulhouse
France
February - March 1989 [L'art inuit]
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at St. Marcellin
France
March - April 1989 [L'art inuit]
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Galerie Autre Regard, Paris
France
April 1989 Legacy in Stone: Carvings from
the Canadian Arctic
Four Winds Gallery
Sydney, Australia
(illustrated brochure)
June - July 1989 Art Inuit
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Galerie Sanguine, La Rochelle
France
July - September 1989 Mother and Child: Selections from the
Inuit Collection of the Art Gallery
of Ontario
Art Gallery of Ontario
Toronto, Ontario
August 1989 Arviat: Eskimo Point
Marion Scott Gallery
Vancouver, British Columbia
(illustrated catalogue)
October 1989 Art Inuit, Sculpture des Esquimaux
du Canada
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Galerie La Poutre, Marseille
France
December 1989 Art Inuit, la Sculpture des Esquimaux du Canada
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Les Chiroux, Centre Culturel de la Wallonie,
Liege
Belgium
January - Sep 1990 Arctic Mirror
Canadian Museum of Civilization
Hull, Quebec
February - March 1990 Beeldhouwkunst van de Inuit (Canada)
by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai, France
at Amphora Finippon pvba, Sint Andries,
Brugge, Belgium
June - July 1990 Small Sculptures from across the
Canadian Arctic
Feheley Fine Arts
Toronto, Ontario
August 1990 Traditions and Innovations in Inuit Art
Sculpture in Stone
Images of the North
San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
(illustrated brochure)
Nov - Dec 1990 Art Inuit: Autour de la Collection de Cape
Dorset 1990
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Centre Culturel Canadien
Paris, France

Nov 1990 - Feb 1991 Espaces Inuit
Maison Hamel-Bruneau
Ste-Foy, Quebec
(illustrated catalogue)
January 1991 Bears of the North
Snow Goose Associates
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
April - June 1991 Art Inuit
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Galerie La Tour des Cardinaux
L'Isle sur la Sorgue, France
June - July 1991 Art Inuit
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Galerie Ombre et Lumiere
Ensisheim, France
Aug - Sep 1991 Art Inuit
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Galerie Akenaton
Troyes, France
Oct - Dec 1991 Art Inuit
Presented by l'Iglou Art Esquimau, Douai
at Galerie Maite Aubert
Le Havre, France
Oct 1992 - Jan 1993 Drawings and Sculpture from Baker Lake
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(illustrated brochure)
April - July 1993 Multiple Realities: Inuit Images of
Shamanic Transformation
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba
(illustrated brochure)

Sep - Nov 1993 The Bear: Sculpture
Albers Gallery
San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
Nov 1993 - Mar 1994 The Inuit Imagination
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba
1994 Kanuitpit? Kunst und Kulturen der Eskimo:
Eine Auswahl aus den Museumssammlungen
Staatliches Museum fur Volkerkunde
Munchen
Munich, Germany
(illustrated catalogue)
July 1994 Arctic Spirit
35 Years of Canadian Inuit Art
Frye Art Museum
Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
Sep - Oct 1994 Kunst van de Inuit Eskimo's
Gemeentelijk Kunstcentrum
Huis Hellemans
Edegem, Belgium
(illustrated brochure)
May - July 1995 Tundra & Ice: Exceptional Sculpture from Canada
Orca Aart Gallery
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
July - Sep 1995 The Inuit: Managers of the Land
Chrysalis Gallery
Southampton, New York, U.S.A.
January - Feb 1996 Not Just a Dancing Step...
Galerie D'Art Vincent
Ottawa, Ontario
(illustrated catalogue)
March - April 1996 Major/Minor
Marion Scott Gallery
Vancouver, British Columbia
SOLO EXHIBITIONS:
1968 Sculpture by George Arlook
Winnipeg Art Gallery
Winnipeg, Manitoba
1969 George Arlook Sculpture
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta
December 1972 Sculpture by Arlook of Rankin Inlet
The Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art
Toronto, Ontario
July - August 1979 George Arlook - The Song in the Stone
Images of the North
San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
(illustrated catalogue)
July - August 1980 George Arluk - Sculpture
Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
Montreal, Quebec
(illustrated catalogue)
January 1982 George Arluk
Inuit Galerie
Mannheim, Germany
(illustrated catalogue)
December 1988 Abstract in Stone
Northern Reflections Eskimo Art Gallery
La Jolla, California, U.S.A.
December 1992 George Arluk
Inuit Galerie
Mannheim, Germany
Dec1993 - Jan 1994 The Sculpture of George Arlook
Richard Rapfogel Fine Arts
Saint Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
COLLECTIONS:
Amway Environmental Foundation Collection, Ada, Michigan, U.S.A.
Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec, Montreal, Quebec
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Hull, Quebec
Eskimo Museum, Churchill, Manitoba
Inuit Cultural Institute, Rankin Inlet, Northwest Territories
Klamer Family Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal, Montreal, Quebec
Museum of Anthropology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
Natonal Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, Brunswick, Maine, U.S.A.
Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Red Deer and District Museum and Archives, Red Deer, Alberta
Sarick Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
Williamson Collection, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba


HONOURS, ACHIEVEMENTS and EVENTS:
1972 Received a Canada Council travel grant to attend the opening of his
solo exhibition at the Innuit Gallery of Eskimo Art in Toronto.
1987 Commissioned to create a sculpture to be auctioned with all proceeds going
to the Keith Rawlings Memorial Scholarship Fund; the monies raised to be
used to assist northern native students to careers in business.
1988 Attended the opening of his solo exhibition 'Abstract in Stone' in La Jolla,
California.
1991 George presented a carving demonstration at the Winnipeg Folk Festival in
July.
1993 The Inuit Galerie of Mannheim, Germany, features reproductions of Arluk's
sculpture in their 1993 calender.
1993 Attended Greater Columbus Arts Festival in Ohio (June 2-6, 1993) to give a
carving demonstration.
SELECTED REFERENCES:
Blodgett, Jean
THE COMING AND GOING OF THE SHAMAN: Eskimo Shamanism and Art.
Winnipeg: Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1979.
Brandson, Lorraine E.
CARVED FROM THE LAND: The Eskimo Museum Collection. Churchill,
Man.: Diocese of Churchill Hudson Bay, 1994.
Canada. Indian and Northern Affairs
CANADIAN INUIT SCULPTURE. Ottawa: Inuit Art Section, 1992.
Canadian Arctic Producers
GEORGE ARLUK: Sculpture. Ottawa: Canadian Arctic Producers
Cooperative Limited, 1980.
Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec
CANADIAN GUILD OF CRAFTS QUEBEC. = GUILDE CANADIENNE DES
METIERS
D'ART QUEBEC: The Permanent Collection: Inuit Arts and Crafts,
c. 1900-1980. Montreal: Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec, 1980.
Embankment Gallery
ESKIMO ART AT THE EMBANKMENT GALLERY. London: Embankment
Gallery, 1978.
Galerie d'art Vincent
NOT JUST A DANCING STEP = PLUS QU'UN PAS DE DANSE: An Inuit Art
Exhibition organized by Galerie d'art Vincent, Chateau Laurier,
Ottawa, Canada = Une exposition d'art Inuit... Ottawa: Galerie
d'art Vincent [1996].
Images of the North
GEORGE ARLUK: The Song in Stone. San Francisco: Images of the
North, 1979.
Inuit Galerie
GEORGE ARLUK. Mannheim, F.D.R.: Inuit Galerie, 1987.
Inuit Galerie
GEORGE ARLUK. Mannheim, Federal Republic of Germany : Inuit
Galerie, 1981.
Inuit Gallery of Vancouver
COLLECTOR'S CHOICE: 1965 - 1980. Vancouver: Inuit Gallery, l982.
Lippel Gallery Inc.
INUIT SCULPTURE 1974/SCULPTURE INUIT 1974. Montreal: Lippel
Gallery Inc, 1974.
Marion Scott Gallery
ARVIAT: Eskimo Point. Vancouver: Marion Scott Ltd, 1989.
Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery
THE JACQUI AND MORRIS SHUMIATCHER COLLECTION OF INUIT ART.
Regina: The Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, 1981.
Northern Reflections
ABSTRACT IN STONE: George Arlook [sic]. La Jolla, California:
Northern Reflections Eskimo Art Gallery, 1988.
Restivo, Gino
GEORGE ARLOOK - CARVER. The Inuit Art Enthusiasts Newsletter
41: 10, 1989.

Routledge, Marie
INUIT ART IN THE 1970s/L'ART INUIT ACTUEL: 1970-79. Kingston,
Ont. : The Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 1979.
Seidelman, Harold and James Turner
THE INUIT IMAGINATION: Arctic Myth and Sculpture.
Vancouver/Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 1993.
Surrey Art Gallery
SCULPTURE OF THE INUIT: Lorne Balshine Collection/Lou Osipov
Collection/Dr. Harry Winrob Collection. Surrey: The Surrey Art
Gallery, 1978.
Swinton, George
ESKIMO SCULPTURE. = SCULPTURE ESQUIMAUDE. Toronto: McClelland
and Stewart, 1965.
Swinton, George
SCULPTURE OF THE ESKIMO. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1972.
Wight, D.
GEORGE ARLUK: IN The Canadian Encyclopedia, James H. Marsh,
editor-in-chief. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishers, 1:90, 1985.
Winnipeg Art Gallery
DRAWINGS AND SCULPTURE FROM BAKER LAKE. Winnipeg, Man.:
Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1992.
Winnipeg Art Gallery
RANKIN INLET/KANGIRLLINIQ. Winnipeg: The Winnipeg Art Gallery,
1981.
Winnipeg Art Gallery
SWINTON COLLECTION OF INUIT ART. Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1987.
Winnipeg Art Gallery
THE MULDERS' COLLECTION OF ESKIMO SCULPTURE. Winnipeg: The
Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1976.

Winnipeg Art Gallery
THE ZAZELENCHUK COLLECTION OF ESKIMO ART. Winnipeg: The
Winnipeg Art Gallery, 1978.

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