Born in Cape Dorset, Annie Pootoogook was a third-generation Inuit artist, who "drew every day". Winner of the acclaimed Sobey Art Award (2006), she showed her drawings at numerous prestigious group exhibitions and biennales. Her works hang in museums and private collection, but tragedy and anguish walked hand in hand with fame in Pootoogook's much-too-short life. Her resilience, and her concerted effort to fight, was indeed admirable, and there is no denying that art played a major role in that battle. Her drawings, colourful and innocently childlike, were both traditional and modern, vividly illustrating her life and environment. She is credited with breaking ground for a generation of Inuit artist

The exhibition is weighty; it is laden with sadness, marked by loss. But it would be difficult to present Pootoogook's art in any other way, considering the tragedy that left scars on her life and soul. She was found in the Ottawa River in September of last year, her death probablythe result of substance abuse. She was only 47...

A towering, floor-to-floor, portrait of the artist greets the visitors to this poignant commemorative exhibition, her smiling face belying the suffering she experienced. Her drawings, delicate depictions of everyday life, do not shy away from portraying the many acts of violence that marked her community, mitigated however by scenes of a loving family in their simple surroundings, children playing, a TV humming in the next room.

Pootoogook came from a long line of artists, and works by her grandmother and mother are also on display in this touching exhibition.

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Annie Pootoogook

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Art du sommeil

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Cutting Ice

Courtesy McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Kleinburg, ON, mcmichael.com

Until February 11, 2018