Thursday, 22 October 2015

No Cowboys and Lots of Indians

At Frieze Masters I fell in love with these drawings by American Indians. They were shown by the Donald Ellis gallery, which is based in New York and Vancouver. I think the drawings' appeal for me was partly the fact that I used to spend so many hours trying to get hooves and fetlocks right, and these artists clearly shared the same preoccupation:

I also loved these masks, which were late 19th or early 20th century, made by Yup'ik Eskimo from Alaska:

and this one, made by the Aleut in the 18th century:

The things I really coveted though were the tiny objects. This button shaped like a seal's face, for example, from the Old Bering Sea, St Lawrence Island, Alaska, dating from around 100-300 AD:

and these expressive little "human head toggles" dating from as long ago as 200 BC, from more or less the same sort of area:

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