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Item Description:

Signed, titled, dated 'Aug 1976' and inscribed 'Toronto' and 'Acrylic Polymer W.B.' verso, acrylic on shaped canvas.
30 x 61 1/2 in. (76.2 x 156.2cm)


The Estate of the Artist.
Barbara Divver Gallery, New York, New York.
Charles and Marcia McCrae, Pennsylvania (acquired directly from the above in 1981).
By family descent.

This painting is confirmed by Dr. Sarah Stanners to be included in the forthcoming publication Jack Bush Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné.


One of Canada’s most celebrated artists, John Hamilton “Jack” Bush was born in Toronto, Ontario in 1909. He developed a talent and interest in art at a young age, studying at both The Royal Canadian Academy and The Ontario College of Art, while also pursuing a career as a commercial artist. Early on, he was influenced by the work of Charles Comfort as well as the Group of Seven – a coalition of prominent Canadian landscape painters of the 1920s and 1930s. It was not until later, in the 1950s, that Bush was first exposed to a more radical style of abstraction. During this time, he made frequent visits to New York City and grew familiar with the avant-garde work of the Abstract Expressionists, whose bold and experimental style captivated Bush, prompting a dramatic evolution of his own artistic
philosophies. He left behind the representational subjects of his past work and began to explore abstraction in earnest. In 1953, together with ten other like-minded artists, he formed the Painter’s Eleven, an affiliation of artists who shared a common commitment to abstract painting. The group held their first solo exhibition – organized by Bush – in 1954 at the Roberts Gallery in Toronto, marking the first major commercial exhibition of abstract art in Canada. Soon thereafter, Bush’s work drew the attention and admiration of Clement Greenberg, the legendary art critic and champion of Abstract Expressionism, with whom Bush would share a lifelong friendship and who served as a mentor of sorts, encouraging the artist to explore and develop his style and vision.The present work, “Summer Gone,” is an exquisite example of the artist’s color-field paintings of the 1970’s, a particularly accomplished and esteemed period in his career. Indeed, in 1972 – just four years before “Summer Gone” was painted – Bush was awarded a solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The noted New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer praised the show, noting “[Bush] is indeed a painter of enormous eloquence who has found in the vocabulary of color abstraction the means of articulating a range of feeling all his own.”"Summer Gone” is emblematic of the artist’s exceptional output during these last years of his life. Its gently mottled background, rendered in soft neutral tones, provides a compelling counterpoint to the energetic, colorful bursts of brushstrokes that dance across the surface. This elegant, lyrical and expressive painting, executed on a rare dynamically shaped canvas, is surely a very important work from the artist’s latter years. Purchased from the Barbara Divver Gallery in 1981, this painting has remained in the same private family collection for over thirty-five years.

About The Artist:

(CANADIAN, 1909-1977)

$ 47500.00 ( Sold Price )


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