Great Whale River - Kuujjuarapik, Northern Quebec
Henry Napartuk was known as an imaginative and versatile artist. His sculpture often combined animal and human forms. He began printmaking around 1972.
Henry’s father, Josie Napartuk (1901-1980), was one of the community’s earliest sculptors and taught his son. Henry was also influenced by his sister and brother-in-law (Noah and Lucy Meeko), who were trained in various printmaking techniques. Under the tutelage of the Meekos, Napartuk produced several pieces for the Arctic Québec print collection. A bachelor, Henry lived alone in a house close to the print shop in Kuujjuaraapik.
“There is a similarity of styles among the Arctic Quebec printmakers; however certain distinct talents are emerging. Henry Napartuk of Great Whale River is one such talent. An outstanding sculptor, Henry Napartuk learned the technique of printmaking from Lucy and Noah Meeko. His first prints were tentative emulations of their style but as he became more sure of himself in the new medium, there was a sudden, dramatic emergence into the bold style of the Studies in this collection. Ironically, his style is now dominating the Meekos’, who are also turning to abstract expression (Myers [Mitchell] 1973).”
Napartuk’s works have been featured in numerous exhibitions at the international level and are held in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Glenbow Museum, and the Royal Ontario Museum.