Jack Shadbolt: Revelations
Exhibition on view from May 13th - June 3rd
Paul Kyle Gallery is pleased to present ‘Jack Shadbolt: Revelations’. Jack Shadbolt (1909 –1998), one of Western Canada’s most significant non-Indigenous modern painters, second only to Emily Carr, is known for revolutionizing the Canadian art world by combining West Coast Indigenous Arts with his expressive style that realized in a devotion to humanistic ideals. Reflecting Shadbolt’s conscience and raw experience, this exhibition presents a number of monumental and important works that had never been publicly offered, ranging from his powerful and bleak early post-war works, to dark and expressive large forest drawings, to his deeply spiritual and robust Indigenous art inspired paintings, to his late career dynamic semi-abstract canvases.
Young Jack Shadbolt met Emily Carr in 1930, who became his longstanding inspiration and heavily influenced Shadbolt’s works of Indigenous masks and landscapes. From the late 1930s to 1947, Shadbolt’s visual imagery shifted to social realism when he served as an unofficial war artist and worked overseas in World War II. Shadbolt presented a genuine portrayal of the haunting effect of war that is intensified by primitive and symbolic elements of emaciated figures, bombed ruins, and isolated landscapes devoid of human presence. In 1948, Shadbolt left Vancouver to further his studies in the bustling New York City, which ignited his artistic vision, enhanced his awareness as an artist and deepened his understanding of the disturbances of modern society. He was influenced by Surrealism, Cubism, Primitivism, and Picasso’s Expressionism guided his process to Automatism from the 1960s to 1990s. Shadbolt became fascinated with rebirth and regeneration, painting butterflies and ruined terrains that mask rituals and fetish elements. In Shadbolt’s late years, he expressed: “I have tried all my life to reconcile nature with abstraction and deliberation with intuition.” (1990)