New York

Jack Bush

André Emmerich Gallery

Jack Bush is one of a handful of Canadian abstract artists to have gained prominence in America. Well-known in Canada by the late ’40s, he experienced a severe emotional crisis which eventually led him to reject his earlier work and become a member of Painters Eleven, a Toronto-based group interested in abstraction. By the late ’50s Bush had worked his way through such influences as Robert Motherwell, Clyfford Still, Pierre Soulages, and Nicholas de Staël. He had also begun a lifelong friendship with Clement Greenberg.

That Bush gained attention in America is due, I think, to his friendship with Greenberg, who encouraged some aspects of his work while criticizing others. By the early ’60s Bush’s paintings fit into the formalist mode. For those in accord with these principles, his art conveys a hard-earned simplicity and freedom. However, it can also be argued that his paintings are no more

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