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Sumac, 1930

Jack Bush
Canadian, 1909 - 1977
watercolour over graphite on illustration board
39 x 43.3 cm
Purchased 1998
National Gallery of Canada (no. 39593)
©Estate of Jack Bush

Sumac is a prime example of Bush’s early work, yet it prefigures the bloom of his career: his mastery of colour. He used the border around this picture – the area of the illustration board intended to be covered with a framer’s mat – as both a surface for sketching out a landscape and as a test palette for colour. Painted when the artist was 21 years old, this is among the earliest paintings on view here.

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