In this lithograph by Canadian artist Jack Shadbolt, the viewer is confronted with brilliant oranges and yellows that comprise what at first glance looks like a butterfly. Its title, End of Season, is evoked through the autumnal colours and is reflective of the artist’s career-long interest in depicting nature from a distinctly western Canadian perspective. Completed at the end of the artist’s life, this print stands as a testimony to Shadbolt’s long artistic practice that spanned many decades but remained rooted in the artist’s interest in depicting nature and spirituality through abstracted forms.
|Provenance||Art Novel Print Publisher, Vancouver.|
Jack Shadbolt is one of Canada’s most important artists who rose to national prominence in the 1960s. Known as a quintessentially West Coast painter, his works reflect an immersion in the land and mythologies of British Columbia. Throughout his career, Shadbolt’s visual practice has been about, as he describes, “reconciling nature with abstraction, and deliberation with intuition.” His art derives much of its power from that duality and is coveted for its provocative complexity.
Like his predecessor Emily Carr, Shadbolt was particularly interested in the Indigenous communities located on the unceded territory of British Columbia. His paintings are a visual record of the evolving relationship between settlers and Indigenous culture, and can be seen as engaging in the modernist occupation with primitivism. Over the course of his long career, Shadbolt’s paintings moved from social realism, to surrealist postwar landscapes, and ultimately, to abstract visions of nature and Indigenous art.
Shadbolt was born in Essex County, England. After immigrating to Canada in 1912, his family settled for two years in the interior of British Columbia, and then moved to Victoria in 1914. He began his artistic studies at Victoria College in 1927. In 1930, he met Emily Carr, who would become a lifelong influence. For Shadbolt, schooling was ongoing. He studied at the Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Arts (1931) with Charles H. Scott and Fred Varley. Later, he travelled to England and took classes at the Euston Road School (1937), followed by studies in Paris at The Académie-Grande Chaumière and at the André Lhote School of Art (1938).
Shadbolt was an influential teacher. He taught both painting and drawing at the Vancouver school of Art. In 1955, he was the first instructor at the Emma Lake workshop, Regina College, Saskatchewan.
Jack Shadbolt represented Canada in the Venice and Sao Paulo Biennials, the Carnegie International at Pittsburg and at the Brussels and Seattle World fairs. In 1972 he was appointed Officer to the Order of Canada. In 1988, Shadbolt and his wife set up the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts, a foundation that offers financial support to young artists. Today, his work is represented in all the major galleries across Canada as well as in corporate and private collections.