Quvianaqtuk’s parents, Ningeoseak and Oodlooreak Pudlat, were both sculptors and printmakers. Quvianaqtuk is himself a sculptor of some repute, but he is a relative newcomer to the graphic arts scene in Cape Dorset. After a single image was included in the 2017 Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection, his career took off quickly, with a solo drawing show at the Feheley Fine Arts gallery in Toronto and six prints published in the 2018 Cape Dorset Annual Print Collection.
So far, Quvianaqtuk has concentrated mostly on images of Arctic animals, especially birds, caribou and polar bears. In both subject matter and drawing style, his main influence is the famous Cape Dorset artist and printmaker Kananginak Pootoogook (1935-2010). And in the spirit of Kananginak, Quvianaqtuk frequently portrays his animal subjects in unusual or dramatic poses. He has drawn the pose shown in Composition (Powerful Caribou) several times; two other versions have been titled Defiant Caribou and Confronting Caribou, suggesting that the animal’s pose is a defensive one.
Quvianaqtuk’s brand of stylized realism allows him to take liberties with the animal’s anatomy. One would think that the attenuation of the caribou’s legs and antlers would make it seem gaunt and weaker, yet the opposite is true. This bull caribou is strong, virile and not a little menacing.