Included in the 1970 Sculpture Exhibition organized as part of the Centennial for the Northwest Territories, Lucy Tasseor was also one of the Keewatin (tundra) artists selected for the key exhibition, “Sculpture/Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic”, which toured internationally from 1971-1973. Immediately recognizable for her signature style, the artist has long been regarded as one of the principal exponents of the austere minimalist style that we have associated with the community of Arviat—and she has continued to show extensively at a national/international level for the last three and a half decades.
“Lucy Tasseor Tutsweetok was born just south of the N.W.T. border in Nunalla, Manitoba in 1934. After her father’s death Tasseor lived with her grandparents in and around Nunalla and Churchill. Tasseor married Richard Tutsweetok in Rankin Inlet in 1960, and moved to Arviat, N.W.T. soon after. She began carving in the early 1960s.
Tasseor drew inspiration from the memories of sand drawings that she and her grandfather (whom she considers to be the greatest influence on her life) had made when she was a child. Her sculptures, representing mothers and children or family groups, are carved in a semi-abstract style in which the human figure is rarely defined. Tasseor works the stone very sparingly, leaving large undulating surfaces uncarved, decorated with incised drawings. For Tasseor, a flat stone plane has as much expressive power as a face. Human subjects are suggested by faces, arms and legs that emerge from the stone, often only along the edges of the carving. Subtle variations in the positioning or expression of heads and faces provide clues to understanding the meaning of specific sculptures. Tasseor herself assigns very specific meanings or moods to each of her works.”
—quoted excerpt from Ingo Hessel, Visions of Power, 1991.
April 23 - May 14, 2016
The Spirit Wrestler team: Colin Choi, Derek Norton, Nigel Reading and Gary Wyatt, have been together now for over 30 years representing master-level Inuit, Northwest Coast, and Māori art - and for the last 20 years as the Spirit Wrestler Gallery. We are celebrating this amazing 20-year journey with a “birthday” exhibition, “Reflections 20Years”. The exhibition will feature many of the great artists from the three extraordinary cultures that we represent that have shared and supported us on this journey… and it is also a “thank you” for all of you who have made this journey so much fun! The Spirit Wrestler Gallery was founded in 1996 and quickly became one of the foremost galleries of first-nation art in North America. The name Spirit Wrestler originates from the title of the book by James Houston that tells the story of a young shaman learning his powers in the Canadian north. At the time, the gallery was looking for a name that allowed for the consideration of both traditional and shamanist-based arts here in Canada, as well as embracing the work by other artists from around the world. Early exhibitions included artists from Alaska, the Canadian Plains, and the Māori from New Zealand, being shown in the same room as Northwest Coast and Inuit art. The cross-cultural interactions have offered a unique fusion in the gallery and generated many group and solo exhibitions that we have hosted over the years. We were witnessing the trend of a growing interaction internationally between artists who were travelling far afield to research the art and modern cultural practices of other nations - and along the way, forging friendships that have endured across great distances. The last two decades have also been an exciting transition time for the arts being created by all three cultures. There was a pronounced movement towards the incorporation of new materials, such as glass, bronze, and polymers - which has opened new avenues for the art itself, both in terms of subject and scale. To be a part of seeing the artists exhibiting their work side-by-side has been very exciting and has made the Spirit Wrestler Gallery a unique and challenging experience for any visitor. We have had the privilege of representing many of the greatest Northwest Coast, Inuit, and Māori artists of our time - and have have had the privilege of showing a great number of the most important pieces produced over the last three decades. It has been an honour to share this long journey with so many great artists and clients. Thank you all so much for your belief and support.
Spirit Wrestler Gallery
47 Water Street
Canada V6B 1A1
Toll Free: 1-888-669-8813
3 blocks from Waterfront Station
Between Abbott St. and Carrall St.
Monday to Saturday, open 10-6
Sunday and Holidays, open 12-5
© 2016 Spirit Wrestler Gallery. All Rights Reserved.