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Itee Pootoogook

From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki


Itee Pootoogook (ᐃᑦee ᑉooᑦooᒡooᒃ) was born on February 7, 1951 in Kimmirut, Nunavut, but later moved to Cape Dorset with his family. He was the son of artists Ishuhungitok and Paulassie Pootoogook. Itee Pootoogook started out carving in the 1970s. In the 1980s he began his career in carpentry, but by 1985 the work dried up so he returned to art as his primary means of income.[1]

He began to pursue his art-making in the 1990’s with the printmaking studio in Cape Dorset, Pootoogook drew inspiration from modern architectural forms and scenes of contemporary life in the North.


Itee had been drawing for many years on his own before he started to become actively involved with Kinngait Studios. Itee produced his first published print in 2008, and in 2010 and 2011 he had his first one-person shows, at Vancouver’s Marion Scott Gallery and Toronto’s Feheley Fine Arts.

His work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

In 2013, Pootoogook was the first Inuit artist to have a solo exhibition at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver.[2]

Pootoogook draws inspiration from modern Nunavut living, navigating away from classic arctic landscapes. His preferred medium is coloured pencil on paper.

His works often included power lines and prefab houses, storage rooms and checkerboard linoleum, a shipping container behind the Kingait Inn, the interior of the Iqaluit airport, and ramps, stairs, and aluminum siding on the exterior of the West Baffin Eskimo Co-op.[3]


On March 18, 2014 at the age of 63, Itee lost his battle with Cancer (neck, sinus, throat, lung) at the Iqualiuit General Hospital.[4]

His legacy brought international and critical attention to an important and bold new approach to art in the the Canadian north and inspired an emerging generation of artists.[5]


  1. Meili, Dianne. Aboriginal Multi-Media Society. Aboriginal Multi-Media Society [( ) ( )] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2 April 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. Griffen, Kevin (March 20, 2014). "Itee Pootoogook: innovative Nunavut artist dead at 63". The Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  3. Robin, Laurence. "Itee Pootoogook defies cultural stereotypes at the Contemporary Art Gallery". The Global Straight. Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  4. Meili, Dianne. Aboriginal Multi-Media Society. Aboriginal Multi-Media Society [( ) ( )] Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 2 April 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. Adams, James (18 April 2014). "Artist Itee Pootoogook illustrated the truths of Inuit life". The Globe and Mail. The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 3 April 2018.

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