His unconventional life comprised looking after a family, commercial graphics jobs at Rapid Grip, and painting. Painting released his imaginative side, and his joyous vanguard colour field abstracts were acclaimed early on by New York doyen of art critics Clement Greenberg who advised Jack Bush to leave behind the black and white and use colour.

Along with Jacques Hurtubise, Bush represented Canada at the Sao Paolo Biennale in 1967, and in 1962 he held his first solo show at the Robert Elkon Gallery. More wide-ranging than the 1976 Jack Bush show, one gets a feel for Jack Bush the person. We see student works in a variety of styles as he finds his way, his sketchbooks where he works through ideas, and his major works. The Sash paintings stand out remarkably, notably the vibrant Pinched Orange (1964) owned by none other than singer Andy Williams. From the Flag paintings, to the Totems, and the never before seen Flower paintings, Bush proves to be an audacious, vivacious artist who typified the Colour Field abstract era. His later paintings, influenced by music, include Symphony on Brown (1976) and Chopsticks (1977). Pure and vivid illusionary colour swaths float on mottled flat backgrounds. Pow! Pow! Pow! was the impact the enduring and accessible painter Jack Bush sought. He achieved, with a seemingly fearless sense of painterly freedom, all this within the constraints of the post-war era.

This exhibition, co-curated by NGC Director Marc Mayer and Sarah Stanners, proves that Bush is a painter whose art is as lively as the day it was painted; and it reinforces the image, yet again, of Jack Bush as Canada’s virtuoso in the field of colour on canvas.

 
JACK BUSH

13 November 2014 - 22 February 2015

 
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive
Ottawa, ON
Tel: 613.990.1985
www.gallery.ca(lien externe)

 

Image
Jack Bush
Ex on Spring Green, June 1974
Acrylic on canvas, 160 x 195.5 cm
Collection of H. Arnold and Blema Steinberg
© Estate of Jack Bush / SODRAC (2014)
Photo: Michael Cullen, TPG Digital Art Services

 
Image
Jack Bush
Big A, November 1968
Acrylic on canvas, 228.6 × 144.7 cm
National Gallery of Canada
© Estate of Jack Bush / SODRAC (2014)
Photo © NGC

 
Image
Jack Bush
Tall Spread, June 1966
Acrylic on canvas, 271.7 × 152.4 cm
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
© Estate of Jack Bush / SODRAC (2014)
Photo © NGC

 
Image
Jack Bush
Tight Sash, July 1963
Oil on canvas, 108.6 × 176.5 cm
Collection of Elizabeth A. and Richard J. Currie
© Estate of Jack Bush / SODRAC (2014)
Photo: Michael Cullen, TPG Digital Art Services

 
Image
Jack Bush
Bonnet, 21 – 22 May 1961
Oil on canvas, 246.3 x 209.2 cm
Private Collection
© Estate of Jack Bush / SODRAC (2014)
Photo: Michael Cullen, TPG Digital Art Services