John Tiktak

Canadian, 1916–1981

Human Head, c. 1960–1969


24.5 x 17 x 11.5 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of Dr. Harry Winrob



Sculpture, Inuit

In 1970 John Tiktak became the first Inuit artist to be represented in a solo exhibition, when fifty of his sculptures were featured in a show curated by George Swinton at the University of Manitoba’s Gallery 1.1.1. A number of these works are now among the 36 sculptures by Tiktak in the WAG’s collection. Swinton compared the artist’s sensitive abstractions to those of British sculptor Henry Moore. Tiktak’s primal forms are almost exclusively concerned with the human figure and are characterized by an economy of shape and line. His earliest carvings from the 1960s have elegant, smooth surfaces and curved volumes of positive and often negative spaces. Later works more closely resemble the aesthetic of the other great Rankin Inlet sculptor, John Kavik, and feature rough, expressionistic forms.

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