Ottawa, Canada, November 20 -- Walker's Fine Art & Estate Auctions' Inuit and First Nations Live Art Auction realized phenomenal results with CAD$1.4 million in total sales, and overall sell-through rates of 103% of the low estimate by value. Comprising 333 lots of Native Canadian and American sculpture, prints, drawings, textile arts, and decorative objects spanning some two thousand years, Walker's November 18 sale attracted hundreds of bidders from across North America and Europe.
Jeff Walker, the owner of Walker's, commented: "I'm pleased that Walker's is now firmly established as the market leader in Inuit art. This was an exceptionally strong auction for Walker's both in the quality of material presented and in the enthusiastic response not only from seasoned collectors, but also many first-time clients. In this sale, prices doubled estimates for works by Kenojuak Ashevak, Osuitok Ipeelee, Jessie Oonark, Pauta Saila, and trebled for works by John Tiktak, Lionel Samuels, Judas Ullulaq, to mention only a few."
Auction records were surpassed and in many cases smashed for works by Ashevak, Oonark, Andy Miki, Luke Anguhadluq, and many other key artists.
Ingo Hessel, Head of the Inuit & First Nations Art Department at Walker's, commented: "It's thrilling to see renewed vigor in the Inuit art market. Superb works gathered from the best collections - sculptures, textiles, and graphic works by critically acclaimed Inuit artists, both male and female, from both the classic and contemporary periods - are garnering richly-deserved appreciation and very strong bidding. We are committed to ensuring that the very best Inuit art will continue to attract attention worldwide among discerning and savvy collectors."
Noteworthy sales are as follows:
Kenojuak Ashevak, Rabbit Eating Seaweed, 1959, (her first print from the very first Cape Dorset graphics collection, pictured above), sold for CAD$59,000, surpassing the previous auction record for this most famous of Inuit artists.
Osuitok Ipeelee, Four Muskoxen, a classic 1959 print, sold for CAD$17,700 (a new auction record)
Jessie Oonark, Big Woman, an iconic 1974 print, sold for CAD$11,800
Luke Anguhadluq, Drum Dance, a rare 1972 print, sold for CAD$20,060 (a new artist record)
John Tiktak, Head, a small and superb 1965 work, sold for CAD$47,200
Karoo Ashevak, Spirit Figure, 1971-72, sold for CAD$42,350
Andy Miki, Animal Figure, a magnificent abstract work from 1973, sold for CAD$38,350
(a new artist record)
Josiah Nuilaalik, Wolf-Wasp Transformation, a stunning 1996 work, sold for CAD$32,450
(a new artist record)
Pauta Saila, Dancing Bear, a dynamic work from 1975, sold for CAD$29,500
Osuitok Ipeelee, Caribou, an elegant 1990 work, sold for CAD$26,550
Miriam Nanurluk Qiyuk, Family, a classic 1970s sculpture, sold for CAD$20,060
Jessie Oonark, Untitled (Scenes of Hunting and Camp Life), a gorgeous 1969 hanging,
sold for CAD$70,800 (a new artist record)
Marion Tuu'luq, Composition, Circle of Bears, a lyrical textile hanging from the early 1970s,
sold for CAD$21,240
About Walker's Auctions
Specializing in Inuit & First Nations, Canadian, European and Asian art, Walker's is one of Canada's leading auction houses. Founded in Ottawa in 1937, Walker's is the market leader in the sale of Inuit art at live auction, and is a major player in the field of First Nations art.
Walker's began holding twice-yearly Inuit auctions in November 2011, organized by Ingo Hessel, Inuit art specialist, art historian, curator, and author. Hessel is the author of Inuit Art: An Introduction (1998). Previously, Hessel served as Adjunct Curator at the Heard Museum (2006-2010), and organized the U.S. touring exhibition "Arctic Spirit." Recent projects include exhibitions and publications for the Carleton University Art Gallery (2009), the Art Gallery of Ontario (2011), and the Winnipeg Art Gallery (2012). For more auction info, please visit www.walkersinuitart.com; or email firstname.lastname@example.org.