Shuvinai Ashoona, Curiosity

Shuvinai Ashoona. Curiosity, 2020. Coloured pencil, graphite and ink on paper, Overall: 127.5 × 268 cm. Purchase, with funds from the Joan Chalmers Inuit Art Fund, 2020. © Shuvinai Ashoona, courtesy Dorset Fine Arts 2020/95

Shuvinai Ashoona: Beyond the Visible

July 21, 2021 – January 2, 2022

Located on the fourth floor in gallery 402.


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Shuvinai Ashoona: Beyond the Visible is an exhibition of 25 primarily new works on paper by world-renowned Inuk artist, Shuvinai Ashoona. Ashoona is the descendant of a deep artistic legacy through her grandmother Pitseolak, a widely revered illustrator. Ashoona’s work is characterized by a confident sense of colour, a sure hand, and a unique vision. She and her cousin Annie Pootoogook were among the first to take Inuit art to the international stage. 

Shuvinai Ashoona received the 2018 Gershon Iskowitz Prize at the AGO, which is awarded each year to recognize an individual’s contribution to Canadian art and to support their future work. One such work is Curiosity (2020), a drawing acquired by the AGO at Art Toronto 2020, measuring an astonishing 8.7 feet (2.65 metres) wide. Offering a bird’s eye view of her hometown of Kinngait, seven giant monsters in soft pastels crawl with great curiosity over houses and buildings.

To complement the exhibition, Ashoona’s recent work, Making a Movie, will be on view in the J.S. McLean Centre for Indigenous & Canadian Art until October 2021.


Shuvinai Ashoona (b. 1961) is a graphic artist based in Kinngait, NU. Ashoona first came to prominence in the late 1990s, when her work was included in the Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection of 1997. Ashoona’s recent solo exhibition Mapping Worlds has been touring nationally after opening at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto. She has been included in major exhibitions such as the “18th Biennale of Sydney: All Our Relations” (2012), and “Oh, Canada” (2012) at Mass MoCA. Ashoona's first international solo exhibition took place in 2020 at Glasgow Centre for Contemporary Arts. Her work can be found in many collections including the NGC, the AGO, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, Canadian Museum of History, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Museum of the American Indian, USA.

Shuvinai Ashoona: Beyond the Visible is organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and curated by Wanda Nanibush, the AGO’s Curator, Indigenous Art.

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