16 17 Jack Bush Red Widow, 1964 Oil on Canvas 48 x 56 in. (122 x 142 cm) Signed, titled, dated on verso Provenance The Artist Leslie Waddington Galleries, London Private Collection, Toronto Red Widow is a haunting title for this extraordinary oil on canvas by Jack Bush. Produced during a vital time in the artist’s career, Red Widow represents an intensely creative in- between moment when Bush had mastered one series – the Flag paintings – and was moving on to develop fresh approaches, reaching the precipice of his classic Sash paintings. As a seminal work in the Sash series, Red Widow exhibits the artist’s first attraction to the visual effect of a composition with a waistline, but it is still refreshingly direct, not yet polished with candy colours like the later Sashes. The raw enthusiasm associated with the aesthetic challenges that Bush loved so much are lost on the mature Sash paintings. Red Widow’s cinched central figure does not neatly reach the canvas edge but instead remains in a state of suspension. Allied between the artist’s breakthrough paintings of 1962 and the classic Sashes of 1964-65, Red Widow stands strong as an important bridge in the development of the artist’s most popular style. Without such paintings, great leaps are not possible. – Sarah Stanners Sarah Stanners, Ph.D., is the author of the forthcoming Jack Bush Catalogue Raisonné, and teaches post-1960s Canadian Art at the University of Toronto.