Jack Bush R.C.A.

Sunsout, 1973

acrylic polymer on canvas
66.5x93.5 in.
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Provenance
The Artist, 1973;
André Emmerich Gallery, NY, March 1973 – June 1973;
Robert J. Denison, NY, 29 June 1973;
Robert Miller Gallery, NY;
Waddington Shiell Gallery, Toronto, 1978;
K.M. Graham, Toronto, c. 1978 – 2008;
Private collection, 2008

Exhibited
Jack Bush: New Paintings, André Emmerich Gallery, New York, 1973;
Jack Bush, Theo Waddington Gallery, Toronto, 1978

Bibliography
Karen Wilkin, Jack Bush, 1984, illustrated p. 160;
Mayer and Stanners, Jack Bush, exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Canada, 2014, pp. 26, illustrated p. 27

Jack Bush’s works fall into neat, orderly periods, one following on the heels of the next, each being thoroughly explored before he moves on. In the 1970s he experimented with the ground, blending and layering colour in a break from works from the 1950s and 1960s, and recalling some ideas from the 1940s. This work comes from his Fringe series, wherein the bars of colour border larger areas of uniform space. He had developed these ideas, and explored this arrangement of form, in the 1960s, and in the 1970s would begin to modulate the surface in the large area of space. He had switched from oil to acrylic in 1966, and this quick drying paint freed him from some constraints, and added others. He also experimented with tape to give the bar ends their torn feel.

Here, he has used the bars to both border and contain the larger space, space that is visually textured and mottled and has an organic feeling to it. Wood-grain like, the ground is neutral despite its varied colour, and contrasts beautifully to the pink, blue and orange of the bordering bars. With its evocative title, Sunsout is a fine example of his return to a mottled ground, the Fringe Series, and his maturing and extraordinarily interesting body of work.

John Hamilton Bush, “Jack,” painter (b at Toronto 20 Mar 1909; d there 24 Jan 1977). Jack Bush was raised in London and Montréal, where he worked initially as a commercial artist in his father’s Montréal firm, Rapid Electro Type Company. In 1928 he moved to the Toronto office of…