See and Compare

Kenojuak Ashevak, The Owl, 1969 and Kananginak Pootoogook, Birds Quarreling, 1976

Stonecut and lithography are two very different printing techniques. Stonecut is a relief technique, which means that the engraver chisels a flat surface directly to create a design that will be inked. A lithographic design is rather done on a flat surface without engraving. The lithographer transfers the drawing or the artist draw directly on a flat limestone surface (or metal plate) with a lithographic crayon or a paintbrush dipped into greasy ink called “tusche”. The latter technique facilitates fine strokes and continuous gradations, such as in Kananginak’s print.

Kenojuak transforms birds fanning out their wings on the sheet into an elaborate decorative design. Instead, Kananginak’s work reproduces exact anatomical details and has an original and dynamic composition.