This wonderful sculpture combines Etungat's two principal subjects -- birds and people. The bird is almost a miniature bird of spring, Etungat's signature subject. Both the bird and the man are animated, with the bird flapping its wings and the man captured in the act of jumping to grasp the bird. The delicacy of the connection between the two is breathtaking. The sculpture looks so natural that it's hard to overlook how daring the carving is.
Abraham Etungat | Man catching bird | | Alaska on Madison
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Abraham Etungat, Polar bear
Stone, 7 x 12 in. (17.8 x 30.5 cm)
Abraham Etungat was known primarily for his "birds of spring," tall, graceful birds with razor-thin wings carved in deep green serpentine. This polar bear is their diametrical opposite. It is carved from Andrew Gordon Bay marble, a hard, white quartz. Cape Dorset artists generally disliked it as a carving medium, because it was much more difficult to carve than serpentine. When serpentine was not available, however, many swallowed their dislike and carved the marble. Because of its density, the carvings -- like this bear -- tended to be bulky and rounded, with little detail.
Abraham Etungat | Polar bear | | Alaska on Madison
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