Monday, April 30, 2007

Jack Bush (1909-1977)

Jack Bush's illustration style was perhaps the most "commercial" of the illustrators who participated in The Painters Eleven group of Canadian abstract expressionists.

His regular contributions to Canada's major magazines reveal deep roots in the advertising art market, going back to the 1930's, when Bush ran a commercial art business.

Some of his editorial work from the early 1950's might begin to hint at his interest and eventual immersion in the exploration of Colourfield Painting and Lyrical Abstraction.

Personally, I find Bush's bold and slightly simplified approach to classically realistic illustration very appealing. Though commercial art was ultimately not as artistically satisfying for Bush as his fine art efforts...

...his illustrations provide an interesting counterpoint to the abstract work for which he gained international reknown.

You can see all of these images at full size in my Jack Bush Flickr set.


  1. Did not know that about Jack Bush: very cool, thanks!

  2. Very well done. You have added new knowledge and images to the historical record here - very valuable . nice work.

  3. I have found a copy of a booklet put out by Sick Children's Hospital called Billy Goes to the Hospital. It is illustrated by Bush and looks to be either late 40's or early 50's. Do you know anything about this?

  4. I'm afraid not, Sylvia - but it sounds like an interesting find.