Saturday, February 25, 2012

"More Than Meets the Eye"-- Johan Turi's Art

Johan Turi, untitled

The Norwegian-Sámi scholar Harald Gaski has published a fascinating article, “More than Meets the Eye: The Indigeneity of Johan Turi’s Writing and Artwork,” in the most recent issue of Scandinavian Studies, a special issue devoted to Johan Turi. It’s the first time that Turi’s drawings and paintings have been given a close look. Gaski writes:

“I also hope to dispel the notion that Turi’s drawings and paintings were somehow naïve or simplistic; they are in fact, sophisticated contemplations that tread a fine line between realism and expressionism, depicting...more than would be possible to see from a single vantage point and reflecting Turi’s understandings of the world and of the activities that he sought to present in his book.”

That book is Muitalus sámiid birra, newly reissued in a Sámi version, and retranslated into English as An Account of the Sámi, by Thomas A. DuBois by Nordic Studies Press.

The illustration above is from the Sámi version and also appears in black and white in Gaski’s article.

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