Artwork by Jack Hamilton Bush,  Five Colour Prints (1965 Portfolio)

Jack Bush
Five Colour Prints (1965 Portfolio)

complete set of five colour serigraphs
“Red Sash- New York 1962”, “Red Stripes- New York 1962”, “Red Orange Green- 1963”, “Nice Pink- 1965”, “Stripes to the Right- 1965”; each signed, dated 1965 and numbered 57/100, housed in the original portfolio
26 x 20.5 ins ( 66 x 52.1 cms ) ( each )

Sold for $57,500.00
Sale date: May 31st 2016

Literature:
Marc Mayer and Sarah Stanners, “Jack Bush”, Ottawa, 2014, pages 20 and 21
Jack Bush is one of Canada's greatest contributors to the advancement of abstract art. He pushed the boundaries of expression and emotion, challenging the traditional idea that meaning can only be drawn from representational works of art. Clement Greenberg met Jack Bush in 1957, marking the beginning of a shift in the way Bush approached his work. Bush moved confidently into the 1960s with a fervour and passion to create bold colourful paintings with strong lines and unrelenting power. The shift that began in the late 1950s became a full evolution in 1960, when Bush committed to abstraction through a simplification of forms and a refined use of the hard edge. “Five Colour Prints” is a limited edition of 100, exemplifying the strongest period of his artistic career.
Collected from a consignor in British Columbia, the prints were kept in the original portfolio cover, stored under a bed for decades, ensuring that the works were in pristine condition upon offering in the Spring 2016 Live Auction of Important Canadian Art.

The portfolio’s result was the highest price ever paid at auction for a collection of prints by Jack Bush.


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

A founding member of the Painters Eleven group and the subject of major retrospectives at the Art Gallery of Ontario (1976) and the National Gallery of Canada (2014), John Hamilton (Jack) Bush (born March 20, 1909 in Toronto; died January 24, 1977 in Toronto) was one of Canada’s most influential artists. Among the first Canadian painters of his generation to achieve international success in his lifetime, Bush was a masterful draftsman and colourist whose works are coveted by major institutions and private collectors throughout the world. Born in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto in 1909, Bush spent his childhood in London, Ontario, and Montréal, Québec, where he studied at the Royal Canadian Academy and apprenticed as a commercial artist in his father’s business, Rapid Electro Type Company. After relocating in 1928 to work in the firm’s Toronto offices, his interest in fine art grew through contact with members of the Group of Seven, the Ontario Society of Artists, and the Canadian Group of Painters. Working as a commercial artist by day, Bush painted and took night classes at the Ontario College of Art (now the Ontario College of Art and Design University) throughout the 1930s, studying under Frederick Challener, John Alfsen, George Pepper, J. E. H. MacDonald, and Charles Comfort. After forming the commercial design firm Wookey, Bush and Winter in 1942 with partners Leslie Wookey and William Winter, Bush remained engaged in the graphic art world until his retirement in 1968.

Like many of his contemporaries in Toronto, Bush had little exposure to international trends of modernism during his formative years as a painter. For nearly two decades, he drew inspiration for his landscape and figural paintings from works by members of the Ontario Society of Artists and the Canadian Group of Painters. Though he began to incorporate non-representational elements in his work in the late 1940s, Bush’s more focused experimentations with formal abstraction in the early 1950s reveal the conspicuous influence of his eventual encounters with modern artwork in Toronto and New York City. In 1953, Bush joined the newly-founded Toronto artist group Painters Eleven. Through his involvement in the group’s efforts to promote abstract painting in Canada, Bush met the influential New York City art critic Clement Greenberg. Their resulting friendship would influence Bush’s early development as an abstract painter, with Greenberg serving as an occasional mentor to the artist, encouraging him to abandon his Abstract Expressionist style in favour of a brighter, more refined palette and technique. Through his association with Painters Eleven, Bush became closely tied to Colour Field painting and Lyrical Abstraction—two movements that had evolved from Abstract Expressionism. After the group disbanded in 1959, Bush’s distinguished career was marked by numerous achievements, including the opportunity to represent Canada at the São Paulo Art Biennial in 1967, after which his art found considerable commercial success in the United States (Bush had already been showing his work in New York City since 1962). In 1972, Bush was the subject of the inaugural survey exhibition in the modern wing of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. Four years later, the Art Gallery of Ontario organized a major touring retrospective of his work. Jack Bush died at the age of 68 in 1977, one year after he received the honour of Officer of the Order of Canada.