JACK LEONARD SHADBOLT, R.C.A.
each panel acrylic on conjoined illustration board
signed and dated 79-80
each panel 59.5 ins x 40 ins; 152.4 cms x 304.8 cms
Pat Ainslie suggests that by the late 1970s/early 1980s, ”Shadbolt aspired to a more automatic and sensual rather than consciously composed art…”
Indeed, this triptych is reminiscent of Shadbolt’s surrealism-inspired output and metabolizes notions he absorbed in New York in the mid-1930s and on later visits. Ainslie notes that “The effects of Shadbolt’s experience in New York did not coalesce into a single body of work, but different elements were integrated into his work at different times.” Here the surrealist elements have been layered on or incorporated into a composition organized as landscape, reminiscent of Shadbolt’s mediterranean compositions. Shadbolt may be attempting to contradict the association by using an upright orientation for the panels, yet the association persists. Colour further serves to reinforce this memory.
Liquid, vital, celebratory, possibly at times accidental, nonetheless this work speaks to Shadbolt’s discipline. As Ainslie reminds us: “Shadbolt’s art was nurtured by the study of form, draughtsmanship and deliberate structuring with attention to formal principles.”
Patricia Ainslie, Correspondences, Jack Shadbolt, Glenbow Museum, Calgary, 1991, pages 18 and 24.
Private Collection, Toronto