Charles Bronfman’s Claridge Collection Auction: Part V: Decorative Arts

April 21, 2015

LOT 77
JACK SURES (1934 - ), O.C.
  • JACK SURES (1934 - ), O.C.
  • JACK SURES (1934 - ), O.C.


JACK SURES (1934 - ), O.C.


height 2.5" — 6.4 cm., diameter 11" — 27.9 cm.
incised signature and dated 98

Estimate $500-$600

Realised: $456
Price Includes Buyer's Premium ?

About artist/note:

JACK SURES (1934 - ), O.C.

“My love of clay as an expressive material, with its innate ability to create any and all other materials, its ability to reinvent itself every time it is touched, has endowed my life with a richness and completeness that few people seem to achieve in their lifetimes. My hope is that this richness and completeness is reflected in the work and this spirit is transferred to the viewer.”

- Jack Sures -

Manitoban Jack Sures is one of Canada’s most celebrated ceramic artists and
educators, known for his ceramic sculpture and murals in diverse media including stoneware, porcelain and raku. His work is both whimsical and humorous, often portraying a caricature of human behavior. His trademark bandicoots, or “beasts” as Sures refers to them, often figure in many of his ceramic works.

Jack Joseph Sures was born in Brandon, Manitoba, in 1934, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants. He attended the Winnipeg School of Art under the tutelage of Canadian artists, George Swinton (RCA) and Robert Nelson. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1959 from the University of Manitoba and continued on to obtain a Master of Arts, with a double major in painting and printmaking, from Michigan State University. During this time, he took one ceramics course, which was the impetus that initiated his largely self-taught career in clay.

Sures moved to London, England in 1960, where he worked part-time at the Chelsea Pottery, practicing his skills as a thrower. After traveling throughout Europe and the Middle East, he returned to Winnipeg in 1962 to set up his own pottery studio. Within two years of opening, he received a commission to create a mural for the School of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. In 1965, Sures was given the opportunity to establish the Printmaking and Ceramics programs at the University of Saskatchewan’s Regina Campus. In 1969, Sures became the Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at the University, shifting his focus from teaching to printmaking, all the while continuing to create ceramics, including murals. He also exhibited across Canada and the United States. It was also during the late 1960’s to the mid 1970’s that the Regina Clay Movement was started. Sures, along with Joe Fafard, David Gilhooly, Lorne Beug, Marilyn Levine and others, dissociated themselves with the mid-twentieth century modernism, in favor of the pop movement style that emerged from California. Sarcasm, wit, and personal expression were the essence of their art.

Sures received numerous accolades and awards during his career. Supported by a Canada Council grant, only the third such grant to be awarded to a ceramic artist, he travelled to Japan in 1966 to study its culture and ceramics. In 1972, Sures received his second Canada Council Grant to work at the French studio of Albert Diato, a friend of Picasso’s, and in 1973, he was appointed by the United Nations International Labour Office, Handcraft Development Program to set up a ceramics program on the Caribbean Island of Grenada. Sures' ingenuity shone through when he engineered a kiln that could use nutmeg shells from the abundant local resource as its fuel.

Sures returned to Regina in 1975 to teach ceramics. He continued to exhibit his work and received large commissions including an outdoor mural at the Sturdy-Stone Building in Saskatoon in 1978, that was a huge project covering 884 square meters. In 1987, he won a competition for a mural at the new Canadian Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, Quebec, and in 1989, Sures received the Grand Prize at the Second International Ceramics Competition in Mino, Japan, the foremost international ceramic competition held in Japan every three years. He had created a thirty by twenty-four meter wall sculpture using the leftover tiles from his mural at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. In 1991, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, being recognized for a lifetime of outstanding achievement and dedication to the community and service to the nation. He was elected to the International Academy of Ceramics that year as well.

In 1998, Jack Sures retired from the University of Regina, having served thirty years teaching, with the honorary title Professor Emeritus. In 2003, he was awarded the Award of Merit, Saskatchewan’s highest honor. Sures lives in Regina, where he continues to create in his own studio and exhibit his work.

Selected Corporate, Public and Private Collections

Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, ON
Canadian Guild of Crafts, Montreal, QC
Canadian Guild of Potters, Toronto, ON
Canadian Museum of Civilization, Gatineau, QC
Claridge Collection, Montreal, QC
Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, PE
Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, ON
Janus Pannonius Museum, Pécs, Hungary
Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK
Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, QC
Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec Quebec, QC
Saskatchewan Arts Board, SK
University of Moncton, Moncton, NB
University of Regina, Saskatoon, SK
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, MB

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2013 Tactile Desires: The Work of Jack Sures Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, MN
2012 Tactile Desires: The Work of Jack Sures, the MacKenzie Art Galerie, Regina, SK; touring to Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, ON; Canadian
Clay & Glass Gallery, Waterloo, ON; Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon, MN, Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, PEI
Sures 2012, The Hand Wave Gallery, Meacham, SK
2011 Tactile Desires: The Work of Jack Sures, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK 2000 The Pottery Workshop, Central, Hong Kong
1998 Jack Sures & Cara Gay Driscoll, Rosemont Art Gallery, Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, Regina, SK
1991 Jack Sures: Recent Work, Ashton's Gallery, Toronto, ON
1987 The Personal Imagery of Jack Sures 1967-1987, Moose Jaw Museum and National Exhibition centre, Moose Jaw, SK; touring, Regina, SK
1984 Jack Sures, Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre Gallery, Regina, SK
1976 Jack Sures, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK
1972 Jack Sures: Clay and Paper, Regina Public Art Gallery, Regina, SK
International Ceramics 1972, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, England
1970 Jack Sures, Atlantic Provinces Art Gallery Association, Canada; touring, Halifax, NS, Moncton, NB, Fredericton, NB, St. John's, NF
1969 Jack Sures, Canadian Guild of Crafts and the Ontario Craft Foundation, Toronto, ON
1968 University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB
Canadian Guild of Potters, Toronto, ON
1967, 1971, Dunlop Gallery, Regina Public Library, Regina, SK
1966 Technical Institute, Kelowna, BC
1965 Saskatoon Art Centre, Saskatoon, SK

Selected Group Exhibitions

2009 Sturdy Stone Center Ceramic Murals, Affinity Gallery, Saskatoon, SK
2005 Regina Clay: Worlds in the Making, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK: travelling, Museum London, London, ON; Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, ON; Kelowna Art Gallery, Kelowna, BC
Harbinger Gallery, Waterloo, ON
1997-2002 FIRE+EARTH: Contemporary Canadian Ceramics, Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, ON; traveling to Itabashi Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Rosemont Art Gallery, Regina, SK; Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS; Mackenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK; Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, ON
1995-97 White on White: Contemporary Canadian Ceramics, Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo, ON; Canadian Embassy, Tokyo, Japan, George R. Gardiner 1989 2nd International Ceramics Competition, Mino, Japan
1987 Clay Today: The Inaugural Exhibition of the Permanent Collection, Burlington Art Centre, Burlington, ON
1985 Thresholds, 4th International Ceramic Symposium, Toronto, ON
1983 Making Art in Saskatchewan: Five Approaches, Neil Balkwill Civic Arts Centre, Regina, SK
Regina High Tea, Rosemount Art Gallery, Regina, SK
1979 Artisan '78, Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina Public Library, Regina, SK
1976 Frank Hulf & Jack Sures, Norman Mackenzie Art Gallery, University of Regina, Regina, SK
1969 Ceramics '69, Vancouver, BC
Craft Dimensions Canada, Toronto, ON
Calgraphics, Calgary, AB
1968-70 Invitation 1, Canadian Guild of Potters, Toronto, ON; travelling, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Quebec
Fourth National Invitational Craft Exhibit, University of Indiana, Bloomington, ID, USA
1967 Fine Crafts, National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
Expo 67, Canadian Pavilion, Montreal, QC
Expo, New Brunswick and Canadian Pavilion, Fredericton, NB
1966 American Pottery, Syracuse, NY, USA
'65 Sarnia, Sarnia, ON

Selected Awards and Memberships

2003 Saskatchewan Order of Merit
2002 Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in Fine Craft, Canada Council for the Arts
1992 Member, International Academy of Ceramics, Geneva, Switzerland
1991, 1992 Alumni Association Awards, Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Research
1991 Order of Canada
1989 Mino '89, Grand Prize, Second International Ceramics Competition, Mino, Japan
1980 Member, Keksckemet, International Group of Ceramicists
1968 Kit Ross Memorial Prize, Canadian National Exhibition, Toronto, ON
1967 Canadian Crafts '67, First Prize for pottery, Expo '67, Montreal, QC
Ceramics '67, First Prize, R. Simpson Company Ltd., and Simpson-Sears Ltd.
1966 Médaille d'honneur, Geneva International Ceramics Exhibition, Geneva, Switzerland 1966, Best Stoneware, Canadian Handicrafts Guild
1963 Manitoba Society of Artists

Selected Links

Ceramics Today
The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan
ArtSask, Jack Sures
Video of Tactile Desires: The Work of Jack Sures


Susan Whitney Gallery, Regina, SK