Search Price Results
Wish

LOT 022

Jack Hamilton Bush

[ translate ]

ARCA CGP CSGA CSPWC OSA P11
1909 - 1977
Canadian

Yellow Partita
acrylic on canvas
on verso signed, titled, dated July 1976 and inscribed "Toronto" and "Acrylic Polymer W.B."
52 x 71 in, 132.1 x 180.3 cm

CAD

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Collection of the Artist, August - September 1976
Estate of the Artist, September 1976
Waddington Galleries, Toronto, 1979
Downstairs Gallery, Edmonton
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, Vancouver

Across more than fifty years of painting, Jack Bush made only four triangle paintings; two were made in 1966 and two were made 10 years later, in 1976. Among these four paintings, Yellow Partita is the largest and was painted last of all. The two triangle paintings from 1966 are now in museum collections. Spring Triangle first left the artist’s studio bound for London, England, but was eventually donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1982. Mabel’s Release #2 was initially purchased by Vincent Melzac, a renowned collector of Washington Color School art, but in the year 2000, the painting entered the collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The third triangle painting, Summer Gone, had resided in the US since 1981 until being sold at auction in Toronto in 2020. Yellow Partita is the only triangle painting by Bush to have a wholly Canadian provenance.

Bush’s records show that there are three Partita paintings, all executed in the summer of 1976 in close succession: Blue Partita (now in the collection of the University of Guelph), Green Partita (current whereabouts unknown) and Yellow Partita. As a musical term, “partita” can mean two things; traditionally, it denotes a single-instrumental piece of music, but it also grew to be a term synonymous with a suite, or a group of separate instrumental movements, each one distinct but often played in the same key. All three of the Partita paintings are shaped, however, Yellow Partita stands out as the only triangle painting, since Blue Partita and Green Partita are diamond shaped. They all possess multicoloured lyrical strokes against a ground in shades of a singular colour applied with either a sponge or rag.

Bush’s experiments with shaped canvases began in April 1966. That month, the David Mirvish Gallery in Toronto opened a solo exhibition of Frank Stella’s Irregular Polygon series. These paintings remained flat, like a traditional painting, but the wooden stretchers were cut and joined to form asymmetrical geometric shapes, and the canvas was then carefully cut and stretched to create a taut and seamless surface like any other painting. These large and highly original paintings impressed Bush and spurred him to think outside the box, literally.

Around the same time, Bush was likely also aware of the Guggenheim Museum’s two important group exhibitions featuring shaped paintings: The Shaped Canvas (1964 – 1965) and Systemic Painting (1966). Both exhibitions were curated by the English art critic Lawrence Alloway, whom Bush had first met in 1958, in New York, and kept in touch with over the years. The Guggenheim’s press release for The Shaped Canvas included an important definition by negation, as stated by Alloway:

A shaped canvas is not a sculpture. It may be three-dimensional, in that it carries projections or is opened up. But it retains connections with the painting we are accustomed to, flat right-angled planes on the wall.… A shaped canvas is one-sided, as is any painting, so that neither the transparent structure of constructivism nor the literal three-dimensionality of sculpture is approached.[1]

To make such a distinction in a press release affirms the fact that these shaped canvases do, despite the artist’s or curator’s intentions, appear to defy the strict category of “picture.”

This teetering between painting and object also extends to notions of painterly versus post painterly (lest we forget Clement Greenberg’s defining exhibition of 1964: Post Painterly Abstraction). Bush welcomed this state of tension in his abstract compositions, especially in the 1970s. With Yellow Partita, we are tempted to imagine the virtuosic hand of the artist, as told in the arcing marks seen in the mottled ground colour, but the unconventional shape of the canvas re-inscribes the painting’s relationship to abstraction and the medium specificity of Colour Field art. That is to say, this artwork is all about painting itself: colour, flatness and the tyranny of the edge. If Yellow Partita represents anything at all, it is pure defiance.

We thank Dr. Sarah Stanners, director of the Jack Bush Catalogue Raisonné, contributor to the Bush retrospective originating at the National Gallery of Canada in 2014, and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Art History, for contributing the above essay.

This work will be included in Stanners’s forthcoming Jack Bush Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné.

1. Guggenheim Museum, “Guggenheim Museum Opens Exhibition on the Theme of ‘The Shaped Canvas,’ ” press release, November 30, 1964.

Please note the top stretcher is 71 inches across and the height from middle of top stretcher to lower point is 52 inches. The side stretcher bars are 63 inches each.

Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.

[ translate ]

View it on
Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
Unlock
Time, Location
23 Nov 2023
Canada
Auction House
Unlock

[ translate ]

ARCA CGP CSGA CSPWC OSA P11
1909 - 1977
Canadian

Yellow Partita
acrylic on canvas
on verso signed, titled, dated July 1976 and inscribed "Toronto" and "Acrylic Polymer W.B."
52 x 71 in, 132.1 x 180.3 cm

CAD

Preview at: Heffel Toronto – 13 Hazelton Ave

PROVENANCE
Collection of the Artist, August - September 1976
Estate of the Artist, September 1976
Waddington Galleries, Toronto, 1979
Downstairs Gallery, Edmonton
Acquired from the above by the present Private Collection, Vancouver

Across more than fifty years of painting, Jack Bush made only four triangle paintings; two were made in 1966 and two were made 10 years later, in 1976. Among these four paintings, Yellow Partita is the largest and was painted last of all. The two triangle paintings from 1966 are now in museum collections. Spring Triangle first left the artist’s studio bound for London, England, but was eventually donated to the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1982. Mabel’s Release #2 was initially purchased by Vincent Melzac, a renowned collector of Washington Color School art, but in the year 2000, the painting entered the collection of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The third triangle painting, Summer Gone, had resided in the US since 1981 until being sold at auction in Toronto in 2020. Yellow Partita is the only triangle painting by Bush to have a wholly Canadian provenance.

Bush’s records show that there are three Partita paintings, all executed in the summer of 1976 in close succession: Blue Partita (now in the collection of the University of Guelph), Green Partita (current whereabouts unknown) and Yellow Partita. As a musical term, “partita” can mean two things; traditionally, it denotes a single-instrumental piece of music, but it also grew to be a term synonymous with a suite, or a group of separate instrumental movements, each one distinct but often played in the same key. All three of the Partita paintings are shaped, however, Yellow Partita stands out as the only triangle painting, since Blue Partita and Green Partita are diamond shaped. They all possess multicoloured lyrical strokes against a ground in shades of a singular colour applied with either a sponge or rag.

Bush’s experiments with shaped canvases began in April 1966. That month, the David Mirvish Gallery in Toronto opened a solo exhibition of Frank Stella’s Irregular Polygon series. These paintings remained flat, like a traditional painting, but the wooden stretchers were cut and joined to form asymmetrical geometric shapes, and the canvas was then carefully cut and stretched to create a taut and seamless surface like any other painting. These large and highly original paintings impressed Bush and spurred him to think outside the box, literally.

Around the same time, Bush was likely also aware of the Guggenheim Museum’s two important group exhibitions featuring shaped paintings: The Shaped Canvas (1964 – 1965) and Systemic Painting (1966). Both exhibitions were curated by the English art critic Lawrence Alloway, whom Bush had first met in 1958, in New York, and kept in touch with over the years. The Guggenheim’s press release for The Shaped Canvas included an important definition by negation, as stated by Alloway:

A shaped canvas is not a sculpture. It may be three-dimensional, in that it carries projections or is opened up. But it retains connections with the painting we are accustomed to, flat right-angled planes on the wall.… A shaped canvas is one-sided, as is any painting, so that neither the transparent structure of constructivism nor the literal three-dimensionality of sculpture is approached.[1]

To make such a distinction in a press release affirms the fact that these shaped canvases do, despite the artist’s or curator’s intentions, appear to defy the strict category of “picture.”

This teetering between painting and object also extends to notions of painterly versus post painterly (lest we forget Clement Greenberg’s defining exhibition of 1964: Post Painterly Abstraction). Bush welcomed this state of tension in his abstract compositions, especially in the 1970s. With Yellow Partita, we are tempted to imagine the virtuosic hand of the artist, as told in the arcing marks seen in the mottled ground colour, but the unconventional shape of the canvas re-inscribes the painting’s relationship to abstraction and the medium specificity of Colour Field art. That is to say, this artwork is all about painting itself: colour, flatness and the tyranny of the edge. If Yellow Partita represents anything at all, it is pure defiance.

We thank Dr. Sarah Stanners, director of the Jack Bush Catalogue Raisonné, contributor to the Bush retrospective originating at the National Gallery of Canada in 2014, and adjunct professor at the University of Toronto, Department of Art History, for contributing the above essay.

This work will be included in Stanners’s forthcoming Jack Bush Paintings: A Catalogue Raisonné.

1. Guggenheim Museum, “Guggenheim Museum Opens Exhibition on the Theme of ‘The Shaped Canvas,’ ” press release, November 30, 1964.

Please note the top stretcher is 71 inches across and the height from middle of top stretcher to lower point is 52 inches. The side stretcher bars are 63 inches each.

Estimate: $100,000 - $150,000 CAD

All prices are in Canadian Dollars

Although great care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information posted, errors and omissions may occur. All bids are subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business. Bidders must ensure they have satisfied themselves with the condition of the Lot prior to bidding. Condition reports are available upon request.

[ translate ]
Sale price
Unlock
Estimate
Unlock
Time, Location
23 Nov 2023
Canada
Auction House
Unlock