Artwork by Jack Hamilton Bush,  Pink on Red (Thrust)

Jack Bush
Pink on Red (Thrust)

oil on canvas
signed and dated 1961 lower left; signed “Jack Bush - Toronto”, titled and dated on the reverse
79 x 79.25 ins ( 200.7 x 201.3 cms )

Sold for $299,000.00
Sale date: May 29th 2014

Jack Bush Art Estate (1974).
Waddington Galleries, Toronto.
The Collection of Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.
Ross Fox, “The Canadian Painters Eleven (1953-1960)”, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, 1994, pages 48-49.
Karen Wilkin, “Jack Bush on Paper: A Selection”, essay, New York, January 2009.
Bush's journey as an artist took him from landscape to colour field painting. Following a well-received Painters Eleven exhibition at Toronto's Park Gallery in 1957, the gallery held solo exhibitions of Bush's artwork every year from 1958-61. The shapes of his late 1950s Painters Eleven period gave way to the magnificent “Thrust” paintings, noted by Ross Fox as “the first major series of Bush's mature phase.” In the “Thrust” works of 1960-61, Bush addresses key spatial and colour concerns thus allowing his unique artistic identity to shine. The characteristic element of the “Thrust” works is a band often resembling a brushstroke that 'thrusts' about two thirds across or down the canvas. Some of these pivotal pictures were exhibited in Bush's premiere solo exhibition in New York, held at the Robert Elkon Gallery in 1962.

Bush began “Pink on Red (Thrust)” on June 7th and then departed on a road trip to the United States, visiting Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo. During this trip, he viewed paintings by artists such as Matisse, Rothko, Cezanne, Pollock and De Kooning and remarked how he had never seen so many masterpieces spanning the past century. Most impressed by Rothko and Matisse, Bush returned to Toronto and to “Pink on Red”, reworking the composition to reflect his recent experience. He completed the painting on June 20th. A drawing in the artist's records reveals how Bush altered the horizontal pink figure from an organic shape to a boxier, more structured form, suggesting the influence of Rothko. “Pink on Red (Thrust)” greatly impresses the viewer with its monumentality and emphatically expressive quality. It is not surprising that these “Thrust” works comprised the artist's first solo exhibition south of the border as they are of a breadth and calibre that contributed greatly to his international acclaim.

“Pink on Red (Thrust)” will be included in the forthcoming “Jack Bush Paintings:A Catalogue Raisonné”. We thank Dr. Sarah Stanners for her assistance in the cataloguing of this painting. Sarah is co-curating a Jack Bush retrospective exhibition to be held at the National Gallery of Canada which is scheduled for November 2014 through February 2015.

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Jack Hamilton Bush
(1909 - 1977) Painters Eleven, OSA, ARCA