New York

Jack Bush

Andre Emmerich Gallery

In what is to date the most extensive discussion of Jack Bush’s work, Andrew Hudson pointed to the relevance of Matisse’s art for any analysis of Bush’s style (Art International, February 1965). This seems entirely correct, for Bush comes nearer than almost anyone else painting in a post-Cubist mode, to the kind of openness within defined limits that one finds in Matisse of 1911–17. In the paintings of Bush’s latest show at the Andre Emmerich Gallery, the horizontally banded shapes which extend from the upper and lower edges of the canvas are framed by vertical bands on either side, but this “framing” does not cause the central motif to loose its fixity to the painting’s surface. Rather, a relationship is established through similarity between the values of the side areas and part of the central motif which enables Bush to bring into focus one or at most two of the horizontal bands, thereby intensifying the feeling of the color—almost, it seems, changing the color’s density. Bush works with sponged and scrubbed-on oil washes which create colors with the opulence of Rothko’s works of the early ’50s, except that their radiance is more refractory than luminous; that is, Bush avoids the atmospheric quality found in the older artist.

Rosalind Krauss