JACK BUSH "THE SEARCHER" OIL ON MASONITE, 1952
Jack Bush (1909-1977) is known as one of Canada’s most successful abstract artists. Beginning in the 1960s he achieved international recognition for his works that were aligned with the leading American artists associated with color-field painting. Bush was championed by the esteemed art critic, Clement Greenberg, who had one of the most powerful voices in the art world.
A graduate of Toronto’s OCAD (Ontario College of Art and Design) and a key member of Painters Eleven, Bush was also hugely influential on the developing art scene of Toronto in the 1960s and 70s. Bush represented Canada at the 1967 Sao Paolo Biennale, and the Art Gallery of Ontario toured a retrospective of his work in 1976. Needless to say Bush experienced tremendous commercial and critical success during the 60s and 70s...which has endured until today.
While Bush is widely renowned for his accomplishments in abstraction, the foundation of his career is defined by nearly three decades of figuration and experimentation. This era encountered a gradual shift during the late 1940s when the artist began to incorporate elements of abstraction, taking inspiration from his American and European contemporaries. Like many of his contemporaries in North America, Bush synthesized both thoughts and aesthetic elements from Cubism and Surrealism.
"The Searcher" epitomizes this important period of transition. The painting features a towering figure adorn in a long white tunic, extending an arm outward as they retreat from the depths of a dark and somber forest.
The powerful composition is completed with a heavy application of paint that asserts the bold geometric shapes and weighted contour lines throughout this piece.
This work comes at a time of deep religious exploration when Bush would often incorporate biblical themes in his work, stemming back to his Anglican upbringing.
"The Searcher" was included in "Hymn to the Sun: Jack Bush Early Work 1929-1956", an exhibition organized by the Algoma Art Gallery in 1997.
This comes directly from the Estate of Jack Bush.
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Oil on masonite
Signed and dated by artist, bottom right
17.25"H 25"W (work)
Very good condition
Provenance: Estate of Jack Bush
Note: the price is $38,500 CAD
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