Marja-Leena Rathje
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Taiga Chiba at Baker Lake


Mark your calendars. Master printmaker Taiga Chiba will discuss his experiences teaching printing techniques to Inuit artists in the Canadian North. A slide presentation will be followed by a guided tour of the exhibition Experimental Prints from Baker Lake.

This is at the Marion Scott Gallery, in its new location in Gastown at 308 Water Street, Vancouver, BC on Saturday, December 11th from 2:00 to 3:00 pm. Refreshments will be served.

Do look at the online gallery to see the delightful results of these Inuit artists' experiments with new techniques. The exhibition is on until January 5, 2005.

Marja-Leena | 02/12/2004 | 6 comments
themes: Other artists, Printmaking


6 comments

It would be hard to tell you how much I love this work - thank you so much for the link. I've been a lover of Inuit prints for a long time, but I think some of the Cape Dorset work has gotten repetitive and commercial, and lost the vibrancy it once had. These new prints are terrific exactly because they were so free. I wish I could see them in person! Will try to link to this tomorrow and maybe send a few newcomers over.

Glad you like this. I agree with you about the commercialization of the later Cape Dorset work. You certainly have a good eye, Beth. And thanks for the link!

Back in art school, one of my profs George Swinton was one of the early collectors, expert and author on early Inuit sculpture which used to be so wonderful. There is still good work but you have to watch out for the tourist trade stuff.

I wish I could own that print called "ground-berries" or something like that - it has really stayed in my mind. I must like that person's work - the first three of the prints I clicked on were by him!

Maybe because my own artwork tended toward the realistic and formal, and I struggled to understand that, I've always been drawn to the primitive, naive, and raw - perhaps longing for a free spontaneity and directness that most western-culturally-literate artists, including myself, find it so hard to recapture. It's one of the reasons I turned to writing and away from painting.

I think the attraction you feel to this "primitive" style (quite incorrectly named) is similar to what the post-Impressionists felt when looking at African art. Gauguin's and Picasso's work would not be what it is without the Africans!

Last year there was a bi drawing show at the Vancouver Art Gallery that included a major number of the early Inuit work and that was my favourite!

Yes (and apologies for using the word "primitive" - this is a topic fraught with semantic problems!) When I was painting seriously, I read a lot about Picasso and Matisse and studied especially Picasso's print and drawing series that were his attempts to work on this issue - and it was so fascinating. And there is that funny story about the lifesize (straw?) figure - I think it was from the New Hebrides - that one of them gave to the other and never returned - I think it was Matisse who gave it to Picasso with some sort of note about his fascination with native art. Francoise Gillot wrote about it in her memoir about these two men.

No apologies needed - we need a better word methinks! I don't know that wonderful story - I must read Gillot's book some day.

Beth, you sound so knowledgeable about art, and it's wonderful to have an audience of people like you, we need more of you. Have you thought of getting back to doing some art work again - I sense a wee bit of longing between the lines ???