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Bush, Big A, acrylic on canvas, 1968

Jack Bush (20 Mar 1909-24 Jan 1977) (variant name John Hamilton Bush) was a Canadian abstract expressionist painter, born in Toronto, Ontario in 1909 and he died there 24 January 1977. His paintings are associated with the Color Field movement and Post-Painterly Abstraction.

Contents

Life and early work

In his early stages, Bush was influenced by the work of Charles Comfort and the Group of Seven. During the 1930s, he ran a commercial art business and, by night, furthered his studies at the Ontario College of Art. Bush, like other Canadian artists of the time, was sheltered from major European influences. After seeing the work of the American Abstract Expressionists in New York City, Bush's canvases changed dramatically.

Painters Eleven

Bush developed his work and approach to abstraction through the 1950s. He was a member of Painters Eleven, the group founded by William Ronald in 1954 to promote abstract painting in Canada, and was soon encouraged in his art by the American art critic Clement Greenberg. Critical at first, Greenberg became a mentor to Bush and encouraged him to refine his palette, technique, and approach. As a result of Greenberg's guidance, Bush became closely tied to the two movements that grew out of the efforts of the abstract expressionists: Color Field Painting and Lyrical Abstraction. As Painters Eleven disbanded in 1960, Bush moved on and, in the end, became one of the more successful artists to come from this group.

Jack Bush represented Canada at the 1967 São Paulo Art Biennial and, in 1976, the Art Gallery of Ontario toured a large retrospective of his work. He died in 1977.

Selected exhibitions

  • 1976: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto (major retrospective)
  • 1972: Boston Museum of Fine Arts
  • 1967: São Paulo Art Biennial
  • 1956: Riverside Gallery, Brooklyn (American Abstract Artists and Painters Eleven group show)
  • 1954: Roberts Gallery, Toronto (Painters Eleven group show)

Selected collections

  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
  • Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
  • Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
  • Tate Gallery, London
  • Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida

References

  • Boyanoski, Christine. Jack Bush: Early Work [exhibition catalogue]. Toronto: Art Gallery of Ontario, 1985.
  • Carpenter, Ken. The Heritage of Jack Bush: A Tribute. Oshawa, Ont.: Robert McLaughlin Gallery, 1981.
  • Jack Bush, Paintings & Drawings, 1955-1976 [exhibition catalogue]. London: Arts Council of Great Britain, 1980.
  • Jack Bush [exhibition catalogue]. Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, 1972.
  • Wilkin, Karen. Jack Bush. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1984.

External links

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