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Jack Bush (1909-1977):
Paintings, 1959-1973

Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art
Calgary AB Oct 23-Nov 20, 2004

Jack Bush, Split Circle #3
Jack Bush, Split Circle #3 (1961), oil on canvas, [Newzones Gallery of Contemporary Art, Calgary, AB, Oct 23-Nov 20]

The estate of the late Canadian painter Jack Bush is represented in western Canada by Newzones Gallery of Calgary, Alberta. In a second exhibition of his work, six major paintings characterize thematic and stylistic innovations over a 15-year period. The survey focuses on Bush's career following the demise of a prestigious group of young Canadian painters who called themselves Painters Eleven. The Painters Eleven were instrumental in introducing abstract expressionism to Canadian art during the 1950s, to the critical acclaim of the American critic Clement Greenberg.

Images in the Newzones exhibit include a six-foot example of Bush's Thrust paintings (1959), which were inspired by Matisses use of negative space. A dark Magna painting (1961) contrasts with a bright geometric canvas in red, yellow and blue from the previous year. An Attack painting (1969) visualizes the pulsating pain Bush experienced with angina during the late 1960s. The exhibit also features an eight-foot Split Circle painting (1961) and a later work inspired by totem poles (1973).

Bush was a contemporary of Jules Olitski, Robert Motherwell, Helen Frankenthaler, and Adolph Gottlieb. During the 1950s and 60s, Bush began to receive international acclaim for his bold style and distinctive brushwork on large-scale canvasses. He has been described as one of the most original draftsmen and inventive colourists of 20th century art history.


Mia Johnson

 Mon, Sep 13, 2004