Allen Sapp

Canadian [1935-2015]

Royal Canadian Academy of Arts

Allen Sapp was born in 1928, in his grandparents’ log cabin on the Red Pheasant Reserve in Saskatchewan. Allen’s mother died when he was quite young, and his grandmother, Nokum, raised him. Their relationship was very close and despite Nokum’s passing, she was a great influence on Allen’s life.

Allen Sapp is Plains Cree, descended from Chief Poundmaker, who is one of the Great Chiefs and is still honoured by his people today. In his early years, Allen’s health was poor. During a serious illness when he was about eight years old, his grandmother’s sister said that unless Allen was given a new Indian name, he would die. Allen received his Cree name, Kiskayetum; translated it means “He perceives it.” It was the first of many spiritual experiences in his life. When he was in his early teens Allen was bedridden with meningitis, which prevented him from attending school. Unable to read or write, Allen spent the hours of solitude sketching and drawing, which suited his shy temperament. A self-taught artist, when Allen first started working in oils his pallet was restricted by his budget to only a few colours. His early paintings were done in white, brown and black.

Allen Sapp later moved to North Battleford, Saskatchewan, where he painted at night and walked the streets during the day to find buyers for his work. When he was in his mid-thirties, he met Dr. Allan Gonor, who became a very good friend and patron. Dr. Gonor encouraged Allen to paint what he remembered of life growing up on the reserve. He promised to buy much of Allen’s work and arranged the sale of other paintings so that Allen could make a living as an artist without having to rely on welfare. With Dr. Gonor’s support, Allen never looked back. Allen's art is a window to life on the reserve as it was when he was growing up in the 1930's and 40's. Many of these scenes have disappeared from current reserve life. Allen's paintings depict the struggle for survival by a proud people in a harsh environment.

In 1969 and 1970, successful exhibitions in Saskatoon and Vancouver launched Allen’s career. Within the next five years, Allen Sapp’s paintings were widely exhibited and acclaimed throughout Canada, and in London, New York and Los Angeles.

Allen Sapp is an inspiration to younger Native painters across Canada. At the "New Beginnings" Native Art Show, held in conjunction with the Native Business Summit in Toronto in June 1986, Allen Sapp was singled out as a Senior Native artist in Canada, "whose contributions to the recent renaissance of Native art and culture will only be measured by history."

Allen Sapp passed away on December 29, 2015.

We are currently seeking works by Allen Sapp to be included in future auctions.

If you are interested in selling with us or wish to get our opinion of the value of your artworks please contact us for an appointment to evaluate your artwork for auction.

A Few Notable Results from our Auctions

Allen Sapp

ESQUOIO COMING FROM SEWING
acrylic on canvas
48 x 72 in.

Sold for $ 18,000 (hammer price) – November 2016

Allen Sapp

CHOPPING LAST TREE FOR TODAY; 1979
acrylic on canvas
24 x 30 in.

Sold for $ 13,000 (hammer price) – May 2017

Allen Sapp

NICE DAY TO WASH CLOTHES; 1983
acrylic on canvas
18 x 24 in.

Sold for $ 12,000 (hammer price) – November 2017

Allen Sapp

CUTTING OATS; 1970
acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 in.

Sold for $ 10,500 (hammer price) – November 2007

Allen Sapp

THEY'VE ALL COME TO VISIT; 1986
acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 in.

Sold for $ 10,000 (hammer price) – November 2018

Allen Sapp

MY OLD HOME
acrylic on canvas
30 x 48 in.

Sold for $ 9,000 (hammer price) – November 2016

Allen Sapp

GOING FOR PRAIRIE CHICKEN; 1968
acrylic on board
24 x 30 in.

Sold for $ 7,500 (hammer price) – May 2005

Allen Sapp

POW WOW
acrylic on canvas
36 x 48 in.

Sold for $ 6,000 (hammer price) – November 2011

Allen Sapp

ALEC NICOTINE WORKING; 1971
acrylic on canvas
24 x 36 in.

Sold for $ 5,500 (hammer price) – February 2019

Allen Sapp

NOKUM MAKING BANNOK ON A SUMMER DAY; ca 1967
acrylic on masonite
18 x 24 in.

Sold for $ 5,500 (hammer price) – May 2018

Since 1983, Hodgins Art Auctions is your trusted source for buying and selling art by Allen Sapp, and other important Canadian artists.

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