The New York Studio School is proud to present the first New York solo exhibition of the renowned Canadian artist Jack Bush in over twenty years. The show, consisting of works borrowed from Canadian collections, has been selected by Karen Wilkin.
Jack Bush (1909-1977) was best known for his idiosyncratic abstract canvases, distinguished by unpredictable orchestrations of radiant hues. These exuberant works placed him in the front ranks of the Color Field painters, along with Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland, and Jules Olitski, with whom he was included in the seminal Post-Painterly Abstraction exhibition at the LA County Museum in 1964. Bush represented Canada at the São Paulo Biennal and had solo shows at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the Edinburgh Festival, and many other places in the U.S. and Canada.
What set Bush apart was his ability to use often improbable sources within his everyday experience as points of departure, translating them into an individual language of playful, energetic shapes: “What I’d really like to do,” Bush said to his friend Noland, “is hit Matisse’s ball out of the park.” “Go ahead,” Noland told him. “Matisse won’t mind at all.”
Throughout his career, Bush worked on paper for extended periods, not as a secondary activity, but anticipating, paralleling, and extending developments made on canvas. Bush’s paper works are closely related to his major paintings, but they are also independent and accomplished works of art in their own right. This exhibition surveys the evolution of some of Bush’s principal themes through a selection of his watercolors and gouaches, allowing an intimate view of his extraordinary sense of color, his generous drawing, and his odd, engaging approach to structure.
The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated color catalogue featuring an essay by guest curator Karen Wilkin and a chronology. The website for the show can be found at www.nyss.org/bush.