Artwork by Jack Hamilton Bush,  Summer Lake

Jack Bush
Summer Lake

acrylic on canvas
signed “Jack Bush - Toronto”, titled and dated January 1973 on the reverse
49.75 x 68.25 ins ( 126.4 x 173.4 cms )

Sold for $310,500.00
Sale date: May 29th 2014

André Emmerich, March 1973.
Downstairs Gallery, Edmonton.
The Collection of Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Inc.
Andre Emmerich Gallery, “Jack Bush: Neue Bilder”, Zurich, Switzerland, March 30 - April 27, 1974.
Iris Nowell, “Painters Eleven: The Wild Ones of Canadian Art”, Vancouver/Toronto, 2010, page 36.
John Mclean, “Jack Bush: Recent Paintings”, “Studio International”, Volume 188, Issue 968, July - August 1974, pages 27-29, reproduced page 29.
On an evening in 1965, Bush received a telephone call from gallerist André Emmerich who had just met with Clement Greenberg. “I would like you to come to my gallery” prompted Emmerich, “I think your work deserves it, and I'm proposing to offer you a show February 12th [1966]. Clem says that you have the canvases and that they are really good.” This was the beginning of a critical relationship for Bush with Emmerich, who would hold frequent exhibitions of Bush's artwork in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s in his New York and Zurich galleries. “Summer Lake” was shown in one such exhibition at the André Emmerich Gallery, Zurich, in the spring of 1974.

In “Summer Lake”, the blue pigment, which is pulled across the surface of the canvas, creates a delicate yet dramatic and variegated ground for his thoughtful arrangement of form and colour. This open ground, formed methodically by painting in a single direction, interacts strongly with the vibrant-coloured bars applied with assertive sweeps. Bush finds his motif in nature, the very title of the work suggesting an iridescent blue body of water captured on a hot summer day. He retains something of the feel of nature, but produces an entirely abstract work full of tension and vigour. “Summer Lake” is an iconic example of the artist's lyrical arrangement of bold-hued shapes against a wonderfully complex ground.

Artist markings on the reverse indicate that the artwork can be displayed vertically or horizontally. “Summer Lake” was presented vertically at the 1974 exhibition in Zurich.

“Summer Lake” 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