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Itee Pootoogook: Calm Weather reviewed in Border Crossings

In the fall 2017 edition of Border Crossings, Vancouver critic Robin Laurence discusses the images featured in Itee Pootoogook: Calm Weather, presented by MSG from March 18 to April 15. Noting that the late Inuit artist’s abstract landscapes have invited comparisons to the work of such well known painters as Milton Avery, Laurence writes that Pootoogook “brings his individual vision to bear here, along with an intense identification with the land, sea and sky, a vivid colour sense and an appreciation for northern displays of colour and light.” Laurence draws attention to Pootoogook’s unique drawing technique and sensitive response to his materials: “Pootoogook’s use of graphite and coloured pencils creates a distinctive, subtly modulated surface beneath which the colour and texture of the paper are not only discernible but also integral. His drawing tools, too, allow for a particularity of detail – cracks and fissures in rocks, ripples on water, a reflection in the curving lens of a pair of wraparound sunglasses—that is faithful to his subject without being photo-realistic.” Describing the work as quiet and matter-of-fact, Laurence praises Pootoogook’s photography-like compositional strategies, the result of “a lens-based approach to catching and framing his images.”

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