new-york

Jack Bush

Emmerich Gallery, Uptown

Jack Bush at Emmerich Uptown also uses calligraphic elements in his paintings, but they function as indices of surface, volume, and movement, rather than as hieroglyphs. Placement and color are of primary importance. The stippled backgrounds, painted with rollers specked with various colors, give the paintings a feeling of density and activity. Because this surface doesn’t extend all the way to the edges, leaving some raw canvas, there appears to be a posterior flat plane which creates a connection with the superimposed shapes.

A difficulty in the use of calligraphic figures, no matter how abstract, is that they demand to be read as signs, often causing a pictorialism, a sense of the anecdotal or illustrative. This sometime occurs in Bush’s work when the shapes sit against the background suggesting the static quality of linguistic or mathematical symbols instead of volumes.

Bush is inventive

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