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Jack Bush

Jack Bush (John Hamilton Bush) was a Canadian abstract painter born in Toronto, Ontario in 1909. His youth was spent in Montreal, Quebec where he studied at the Royal Canadian Academy under the instruction of Adam Sheriff Scott and Edmond Dynnet.

During the 1930’s he operated a graphic art studio by day and attended night classes at Ontario College of Art with instruction from Fredrick Challener, John Alfsen, George Pepper, Charles Comfort and J.E.H. MacDonald. Like many Canadian artists of the time his Jack Bush Artist Photowork was sheltered from international influences. Bush developed his work and approach to abstraction through visits to New York City and Montreal. He became influenced by the American Abstract Expressionists, the ideas of John Lyman and the work of the Montreal artists "Les Automatists". Today, he is considered an Abstract Expressionist.

From 1953-1960 he was a member of the Painters Eleven group of abstracts artists founded by William Ronald to promote abstract painting in Canada. He was praised and eventually mentored by the American art critic Clement Greenberg. It was Greenberg who encouraged Bush to refine his technique and approach to abstraction which eventually tied his work with the two movements born from Abstract Expressionism; Color Field Painting and Lyrical Abstraction.

Terry Fenton observes that Jack was above all things a master of color, and that he could make pictures with slabs and streaks of color, and in this manner he was perhaps ‘one of the greatest since Matisse’. His influences must have included his friend, the renowned art critic Clement Greenberg, and the painter Kenneth Noland, both of whom were great admirers of Matisse. But while Noland discovered geometric motifs and the symmetry of abstract geometry, Jack Bush found something similar in pretty things: Christmas wrappings and neckties, women's dresses and flowers, even spilled paint. Nourished on Matisse, Jack’s art eventually seized on the minutia of his own life - he liked to paint common objects, which he could transform into very attractive things.

In 1976, the Art Gallery of Ontario showcased a large retrospective of Jack Bush. He died in Toronto in 1977.

Big A Jack Bush Oil on Canvas
Big A
Jack Bush
Oil on Canvas
Colour Column on Suede Jack Bush  Oil on Canvas
Colour Column on Suede
Jack Bush
Oil on Canvas

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