Floyd Kuptana

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Floyd Kuptana
EducationDavid Ruben Piqtoukun
Known forSculpture, Inuit art

Floyd Kuptana (born 1964) is an Inuvialuit (Inuk) artist in Canada whose work is primarily stone carvings[1] as well as paintings and collage.

Modern Inuit art developed in the latter half of the 20th century as Indigenous peoples of the Canadian Arctic and subarctic regions began living in fixed communities in the late 1940s.[2][3] As the number of artists increased and the Canadian government promoted stone carving[4] and work in other media, contemporary Inuit art grew in popularity in Canada and other countries.


Kuptana was born in a settlement near the former Distant Early Warning Line station at Cape Parry, Northwest Territories, Canada and later moved with his family to nearby Paulatuk. He began his career by helping cousins Francis and Abraham Anghik Ruben[5] to sand and polish their carvings, later working with sculptor and painter Bill Nasogaluak and as an apprentice to David Ruben Piqtoukun, older brother of Abraham and Francis. He has produced his own work since leaving the apprenticeship in 1992, and now resides in Toronto. He is brother to carver Robert Kuptana.[6]

Floyd Kuptana's sculptures of soapstone and other stone often feature shapes of both animal and human. Frequent imagery of transformation may be considered grotesque and include works of Sedna the Inuit goddess of the sea and marine animals. His work relates both to the Inuit shamanic beliefs and his own experiences.

After coming in contact in the late 2000s with Gallery Arcturus, a public art museum and education centre in Toronto,[7] Kuptana began working with paint, depicting animals in bright colours on found materials such as wood and later on art board and canvas. Some of Kuptana's pieces enter the market via commercial galleries including a leading source of First Nations artwork in Toronto, Bay of Spirits[8]. Most have been sold by the artist himself for private collections in Canada, the United States and other countries.

The piece known as "Self-portrait by Floyd Kuptana" was acquired in 2007 by Library and Archives Canada[9] and appeared in a 2018 joint exhibit at the Glenbow art and history museum in Calgary.

Several works by Kuptana are in the permanent collection of Toronto contemporary art museum Gallery Arcturus.[10] In 2018, an exhibit space on the gallery's second floor[11] was created to showcase the artist's work in various media, as well as pieces created in collaboration with other artists.


  • "The Artist's Mirror: Self Portraits"[12] at the Glenbow, 10 March 2018 – 6 January 2019[13]
  • "Sedna lamenting the loss of sea ice" at "Linked"[14] at the Oceanographic Museum, Monaco, 29 November 2015 - 29 February 2016
  • "Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 3"[15] travelling exhibit of The Museum of Arts and Design, New York City, 26 June - 21 October 2012[16]
  • "Floyd Kuptana ... sculpted from stone and spirit"[17] at Gallery Arcturus, Toronto, 27 September - 12 November 2011
  • "In the Shadow of the Midnight Sun"[18] at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 23 May – 17 August 2008
  • "Inuit Sculpture Now"[19] at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 30 June - 18 November 2007



  1. ^ Concordia Canadian Art Database Project
  2. ^ "Contemporary Inuit Arts in Canada: Factsheet" Canada Council for the Arts [PDF, 232.6 KB]
  3. ^ "About Inuit Art". Eskimo Art Gallery. Archived from the original on 2016-08-16.
  4. ^ Sculpture/Inuit. Sculpture of the Inuit: Masterworks of the Canadian Arctic. Canadian Eskimo Arts Council. 1971. ISBN 0802018467. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  5. ^ Arctic Journeys/Ancient Memories: the Sculpture of Abraham Anghik Ruben
  6. ^ Robert Kuptana
  7. ^ Floyd Kuptana
  8. ^ Bay of Spirits Gallery
  9. ^ Self-portrait by Floyd Kuptana
  10. ^ Floyd Kuptana works at Gallery Arcturus
  11. ^ Floyd Kuptana Gallery
  12. ^ "The Artist's Mirror: Self Portraits" "Exhibition: Library and Archives Canada in partnership with the Glenbow"
  13. ^ The Artist's Mirror: Self Portraits
  14. ^ "Linked" exhibit
  15. ^ "Changing Hands: Art Without Reservation 3"
  16. ^ Art in Review: Changing Hands
  17. ^ "Floyd Kuptana ... sculpted from stone and spirit"
  18. ^ "In the Shadow of the Midnight Sun"
  19. ^ "Inuit Sculpture Now"

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