Lot Sale Results

Jack Hamilton Bush

Jack Hamilton Bush

Jack Hamilton Bush
Post-War & Contemporary Art Live auction

Lot # 006

Jack Hamilton Bush
ARCA CGP CSGA CSPWC OSA P11 1909 - 1977 Canadian

Down and Across
acrylic on canvas
on verso signed, titled, dated February 1967, inscribed "Toronto" / Acrylic Polymer W.B." / "John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation" on the André Emmerich Gallery label and stamped André Emmerich Gallery Inc., 41 East 57
58 x 49 in  147.3 x 124.5cm

André Emmerich Gallery, New York, April 1967 - September 1968
Acquired from the above by Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), September 19, 1968
Sold sale of Modern, Post-War & Contemporary Art, Christie's, Los Angeles, December 5, 2000, lot 17
Private Collection, Colorado

Nine Canadians, Institute of Contemporary Art, 1967, reproduced, unpaginated
Robert Anderson, quoted in “Works from the Atlantic Richfield Company,” Wright Auctions, 2016, para. 3, https://www.wright20.com/auctions/2016/01/prints-multiples/works-from-the-atlantic-richfield-company, accessed July 26, 2018

Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Nine Canadians, May 19 - June 21, 1967, catalogue #7

The year 1967 was an exciting time for the arts in Canada. A surge of confidence (i.e., investment) meant that Canada could rally – cheerleaders and all – with a new sense of cosmopolitan character. Montreal hosted Expo 67, where Jack Bush was included in the Painting in Canada group exhibition in the Canadian Pavilion. As the country was making a mark on the international scene, so too was Bush. His striped painting Bright Afternoon (1966) was featured on the cover of the January 20, 1967 issue of Art International. Perhaps this was no surprise, since the magazine’s Switzerland-based editor James Fitzsimmons had personally purchased the painting.

In late April 1967, the André Emmerich Gallery purchased four of Bush’s most recent striped paintings, including Down and Across. By this time Bush’s paintings were increasingly in demand, and therefore consignments to dealers were subsiding, while straight purchases and even yearly guarantees became the norm and his main source of income. Emmerich had been representing Bush in New York City since 1964 and would keep the artist on his roster through to 1986.

From May 19 to June 21, 1967, Emmerich loaned Down and Across to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, for inclusion in the exhibition Nine Canadians. At nearly the same time, from May 2 to June 4, 1967, Bush was included in another group exhibition south of the border, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition, titled Canada ’67, was undoubtedly intended to acknowledge the Dominion’s centenary. Even farther afield that year, Bush was one of only two artists who represented Canada at the 1967 Bienal de São Paulo. Organized by the National Gallery of Canada, several of Bush’s large striped canvases were sent to São Paulo that fall, including many paintings reaching nearly 10 feet long, such as Red and Green Pillar (1966), Across and Down (1966) and V Cut #1 (1967). All of these works bear strong connections in style, colour and paint application to Down and Across.

In March 1967, shortly after Bush finished painting Down and Across, he applied for the Guggenheim Fellowship. An André Emmerich Gallery label on the stretcher for Down and Across reads: “John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.” This is most likely an indication that Down and Across was put forward as an example of recent work required by the fellowship application. The good news came in early spring 1968; Bush had won the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship in Fine Arts.

Since it left the artist’s studio in 1967, Down and Across has not returned to Canada until now, in 2018. A little over 50 years ago, the painting was acquired by Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO), which would eventually boast one of the largest corporate art collections in the world. ARCO was formed as a result of a merger between two oil companies in 1966 led by Robert O. Anderson, who happened to be an avid art collector. As ARCO’s founder and chair, Anderson hired the Bauhaus master Herbert Bayer to be the company’s art and design consultant, alongside a staff that worked to catalogue and manage the art collection.

ARCO was first based in New York City and later in Los Angeles. The company’s art collection grew to more than 15,000 works before it was liquidated in the year 2000, after British Petroleum bought out ARCO in 1999. Anderson’s passion for contemporary art was largely due to the correlations he saw between his own alternative path to success and the way in which artists think outside the box; according to Anderson, “That’s one of the many reasons contemporary art is beneficial to society.”

We thank Dr. Sarah Stanners for contributing the above essay. Dr. Stanners brought the definitive Jack Bush retrospective to fruition with Marc Mayer at the National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Alberta (2014 - 2015). She launched Jack Bush: In Studio (2016) at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, where she served as Chief Curator from 2015 to 2018, overseeing 27 exhibitions and 8 publications on Canadian art. Dr. Stanners is now director of the Jack Bush Catalogue Raisonné and holds a status-only appointment as assistant professor at the University of Toronto, Department of History of Art.

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

Estimate: $250,000 ~ $350,000 CAD

Sold For: $301,250.00 CAD (including buyer's premium)

Heffel's remains the premier venue to buy and sell important Canadian Art. We continue our tradition of market leadership with record breaking auctions. At Heffel's, you will work with the most experienced team of specialists in the business to help you buy and sell your fine art. Consign with Heffel and we will provide you with the best opportunity to maximize the value of your works.