(1909 – 1977)
“Colour of course, is the single most conspicuous constant in Bush’s art.” ~ Karen Wilken, Jack Bush, 1984
Jack Bush Artwork
Jack Bush, 1964, Striped Column,
acrylic on canvas.
Jack Bush was engaged in ‘action painting” during his “Painters Eleven” period (1953-1960). Action painting used swift, spontaneous brush strokes that were motivated by mood and emotion. Through his affiliation with the “Painters Eleven” group, Bush’s abstract expressionist painting evolved.
In 1957, William Ronald, the only member of the “Painters Eleven” group who had moved to New York, met and persuaded American art critic Clement Greenberg to visit Toronto and spend time with each member of the “Painters Eleven” group. Bush was profoundly affected by Clement Greenberg’s visit. Greenberg saw potential in Bush’s work, however, he urged Bush to abandon his thick dragged painting of the abstract expressionists work and to simplify. As a result of Greenberg’s visit, Bush started to move toward colour field painting.
Jack Bush was a superb colourist. His works have been compared to the works of American painter Kenneth Noland. Bush was able to build structure with his use of colour. Bush’s works always looked alive and more expressive than the more geometrical and symmetrical works that had gained popularity in this period of painting.
Terry Fenton, William J. Withrow, Jack Bush: A Retrospective, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1976, Yorkville Press Co. Ltd. Introductory essay by Terry Fenton.