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An icon of Canadian modern art, Jack Shadbolt's career as a painter and teacher spanned seven decades. Shadbolt's paintings underwent constant metamorphosis, moving from social realism- Vancouver street scenes- to dark, surrealist postwar landscapes filled with bones and howling dogs, and finally to abstract visions of nature. Born in England in 1909, his family moved to British Columbia when he was a young boy. Settling in Victoria, he knew from an early age that he wanted to be an artist. He studied in London, Paris and the Art Students' League in New York City and near the end of the Second World War, Shadbolt was assigned to the official Canadian army war artists program in London. One of his jobs was sorting through army photographs documenting the horrors of war. These images had a profound impact on him and the effects of which would appear in his work for years to come. The ruins of bombed buildings enabled him to understand the nature of abstraction. "I was aware of the nature, it suddenly dawned on me, about this business of abstraction. I always think abstractly but the problem was that it didn't come into the work. And it is this, that when the bomb blows the building apart it abstracts it, the pieces fall back together again and you get a memory image of what was there but vastly altered and psychologically made infinitely more intense than the original thing. So that was a process of abstracting. Well, I started thinking of bomb ruins in terms of 'here was a building and here are the abstract elements of it.' I worked from there."
11/16/2022 08:02:22 pm
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Jeri SUE engen
I'm one of the lucky ones. I get to follow my greatest passion, teaching art classes to children. I can think of no greater job in the world. For more information about classes, workshops and camps, please check out www.kudzustudio.com