Axangayuk Shaa

1937-2019

Aqjangajuk Shaa is a highly celebrated carver and artist from Kinngait (Cape Dorset), NU. Coming from an artistic family, Shaa began carving as a teenager and went on to have an impressive artistic career. Though taking up drawing and printmaking briefly as a young artist—with a single print included in the annual Cape Dorset Print Collection—Shaa has since focused solely on carving.

Northern animals such as caribou, bear and walrus, often depicted in a dynamic state of motion, feature prominently in Shaa’s carvings. He also frequently features transformation scenes in his large-scale works. Shaa’s carvings incorporate and display the natural changes in the stones he uses, using the shape of his figures to highlight the colour changes within the stone.

Shaa has had 11 solo exhibitions and been included in many group exhibitions across Canada, the United States and Europe in galleries ranging form the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York to the Centre Culturel Canadien in Paris, France. His works are included in the public collection of many institutions, such as the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto and the Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal. In 2003, he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Shaa’s work has appeared multiple times in the Inuit Art Quarterly in addition to a variety of publications.


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