Shuvinai Ashoona: Beyond the Visible

December 3, 2021 - April 18, 2022

Shuvinai Ashoona. Curiosity, 2020. Coloured pencil, graphite and ink on paper, Overall: 127.5 × 268 cm. Purchase, with funds from the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Fund, 2020. © Shuvinai Ashoona, courtesy Dorset Fine Arts 2020/9

Shuvinai Ashoona: Beyond the Visible is an exhibition of 25 primarily new works on paper by world-renowned Inuk artist, Shuvinai Ashoona. Ashoona is the descendant of a deep artistic legacy through her grandmother Pitseolak, a widely revered illustrator. Ashoona’s work is characterized by a confident sense of colour, a sure hand, and a unique vision. She and her cousin Annie Pootoogook were among the first to take Inuit art to the international stage. 

Shuvinai Ashoona received the 2018 Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO, which is awarded each year to recognize an individual’s contribution to Canadian art and to support their future work. One such work is Curiosity (2020), a drawing acquired by the AGO at Art Toronto 2020, measuring an astonishing 8.7 feet (2.65 metres) wide. Offering a bird’s eye view of her hometown of Kinngait, seven giant monsters in soft pastels crawl with great curiosity over houses and buildings.

To complement the exhibition, Ashoona’s recent work, Making a Movie, will be on view in the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art until October 2021.

Shuvinai Ashoona: Beyond the Visible is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and curated by Wanda Nanibush, the AGO’s Curator, Indigenous Art.

About the Artist

Shuvinai Ashoona
Shuvinai Ashoona
Celebrated for her large-scale drawings, enigmatic subject matter, and collaborative work with contemporary artists, Shuvinai Ashoona (b. 1961) is a third-generation Inuit artist living in Kinngait, Nunavut. The dramatic changes in the North—the shift from life on the land to settled communities and access to popular culture—are reflected in her art, which overturns stereotypical notions of Inuit art.... Read more