ONLINE AUCTION
Post-War & Contemporary Art
1st session

November 02 - November 30, 2023

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LOT 209

ARCA CGP CSGA CSPWC OSA P11
1909 - 1977
Canadian

Desert Plant
gouache and mixed media on card
signed and dated 1951 and on verso titled on a partial artist label
18 1/2 x 30 in, 47 x 76.2 cm

Estimate: $10,000 - $15,000 CAD

Sold for: $11,250

Preview at:

PROVENANCE
Collection of the Artist
Roberts Gallery, Toronto
Acquired from the above by a Private Collection, Toronto, February 1952
By descent to the present Private Collection, Toronto

LITERATURE
Pearl McCarthy, "The Lesson from Jack Bush Exhibit," The Globe and Mail, February 16, 1952, page 8

EXHIBITED
Roberts Gallery, Toronto, Jack Bush, 1952, catalogue #22


Featured in this fascinating example of Jack Bush’s transition from representational to abstract art is the motif of the Red Sun. The artist used this particular image repeatedly in this era, and it is believed to be in reference to the Anglican Hymn “Every Morning the Red Sun”, first published in 1848:

“Every morning the red sun

Rises warm and bright;

But the evening cometh on,

And the dark, cold night.

There’s a bright land far away,

Where ’tis never-ending day.”

This speaks to another lesser-known facet of Bush’s transitional period, which is religious imagery. It’s possible to interpret this figure as a Biblical wanderer in the desert, finding beauty and sustenance, regardless of struggle and hardship. This painting’s provenance is crucial, as well: in the year following this painting’s sale through Toronto’s Roberts Gallery, Bush would become a founding member of Painters 11. The pioneering group of abstract painters who would go on to hold their first gallery exhibition at Roberts Gallery in 1954. In all, this work represents a key moment in the career of one of abstract art’s most important painters.

The above essay was provided by Heffel. This work will be included in Dr. Sarah Stanners’s forthcoming Jack Bush Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné.


All prices are in Canadian Dollars


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