P.11 Painters Eleven


Jack Bush

Jack Bush (John Hamilton Bush) was
a Canadian abstract painter born in Toronto, Ontario in 1909. His youth was spent in Montreal, Quebec where he studied at the Royal Canadian Academy under the instruction of Adam Sheriff Scott and Edmond Dynnet.

During the 1930’s he operated a graphic art studio by day and attended night classes at Ontario College of Art with instruction from Fredrick Challener, John Alfsen, George Pepper, Charles Comfort and J.E.H. MacDonald. Like many Canadian artists of the time his work was sheltered from international influences. Bush developed his work and approach to abstraction through visits to New York City and Montreal. He became influenced by the American Abstract Expressionists, the ideas of John Lyman and the work of the Montreal artists "Les Automatists".

From 1953-1960 he was a member of the Painters Eleven group of abstracts artists founded by William Ronald to promote abstract painting in Canada. He was praised and eventually mentored by the American art critic Clement Greenberg. It was Greenberg who encouraged Bush to refine his technique and approach to abstraction which eventually tied his work with the two movements born from Abstract Expressionism; Color Field Painting and Lyrical Abstraction.

In 1976, the Art Gallery of Ontario showcased a large retrospective of Jack Bush. He died in Toronto in 1977.

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