CHARLIE UGYUK (1931-1999), E4-341, Spence Bay / Taloyoak
bone, stone, antler
signed in syllabics, 1991
13.25 x 5 x 9 in — 33.7 x 12.7 x 22.9 cm; 12 x 5 x 10 in — 30.5 x 12.7 x 25.4 cm
Described as “the strongest spiritual carver in the central arctic” Charlie Ugyuk or “Big Charlie” as he was known, could alternate between high realism and intensely imaginative subject matter. Charlie loved birds (as did his nephew Karoo) and his fascination lay with falcons specifically, a subject matter he visited repeatedly throughout his career with his work’s characteristic intensity demonstrated through inset eyes, rigid claws with sharpened talons and meticulously detailed feathers on powerful wings. Charlie was the first of the Netsilingmiut to carve professionally and he was an inspiration to not just Judas Ullulaq and Karoo Ashevak but for many carvers in the region. Inuk Charlie, see lot 32, has spoken of his father’s perfectionism and drive and he challenged his son to be the best at his craft.