Lot 38

MUSK OX , stone, bone, signed in syllabics, c. 1975,
10.98" x 14.76" x 6.73"
27.90 x 37.50 x 17.10 cm
Cape Dorset

Est. $5000/7000
Realised: Please contact us for the value of this item
Auction Date: 05/30/2016

Provenance: Theo Waddington Galleries, Toronto, 1980, Private Collection, Hamilton

Literature: For a similar work see lot 105a, Waddington’s Inuit Art Auction, Monday 23 April 2007.

Note: Musk oxen are not native to Baffin Island, however artists from Cape Dorset frequently depict them in their artwork. One of the characteristics that Osuitok has chosen to emphasize in this example is the creature’s mass, the other is a long tail, much longer than is typical of an actual musk ox. Osuitok is perhaps most celebrated for his depiction of wildlife taking liberty with his subjects, combining animal and human forms and experimenting with these combinations. Another noticeable aspect of this work is the lolling tongue of the musk ox. This is likely an added element of humour, however one could imagine this burly musk ox has outrun a determined predator and is now panting with its tongue out. Or perhaps the animal, which is the largest grazing mammal of the Arctic, is simply foraging for food.

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