Lot 03 - Jack Shadbolt (Canadian, 1909 - 1998), The Hornby Suite: Homage to Emily Carr, No. 1 and 11, 1969

Jack Shadbolt (Canadian, 1909 - 1998), The Hornby Suite No. 1 and 11, 1969
22.8 x 14.5 inches
Notes: These pieces are early photo-lithographs of large charcoal drawings copied onto quality paper using the litho process. The Bay-Xi gallery in Vancouver produced the suites along with Shadbolt overseeing the process. 350 sets of the suite were made, but only 150 of them were signed and numbered. The remaining 200 suites were sold unsigned and unnumbered. These pieces are of the 200 unsigned and unnumbered suites.

One of the pieces has slipped in its matt, and there's no number or signature visible, so I assume the ones we received are part of the remaining 200. They are still collectable, the Kelowna art gallery has these exact unsigned and unnumbered pieces in their permanent collection.
The Hornby Suite was created during the winter of 1968 - 1969 when Jack Shadbolt was staying on Hornby Island. This suite is a visible testament to his respect for Emily Carr and her influence on his artistic process. Shadbolt stated, "…I thought of Emily Carr who had made this interior world so much of her own. How she had overwhelmed me as a beginning artist in Victoria. I was remembering the grandeur she had experienced in the forests of Goldstream and Albert Head and the silvery gray charcoal drawings as we would see them straight out of the crate on her return from a field trip. Those titanic tree boles; the huge curtains of overhead growth; those sinuous fallen logs with their upthrusted roots; the spiralling climb of young evergreens…but mostly I recalled her obsessive awe at the in-folding mystery deep in behind the foreboding pillars of timber. Her heart of darkness hidden in the forest. I was very much with her mood. Standing here within her image I knew again, as I have always known so poignantly, how difficult it was for me to escape her, though as an artist I must be free of her. It occurred to me: instead of trying to avoid her, why not pay my long-standing debt to working as she worked, embracing her moods. Perhaps I could finally exorcise her spell."
Jack Shadbolt was born in Shoeburyness, England in 1909. His parents emigrated to British Columbia in April 1911, when he was just two years old, eventually settling in Victoria.

His informal artistic training began in 1925 when he met Max Maynard and went on sketching trips with him. Around the same time he met West Coast artist Emily Carr in Victoria. Carr’s images of West Coast First Nations symbols impressed Shadbolt, who would return to the theme and incorporate Native imagery into his own later work.

From 1928 to 1937, he taught high school in Duncan and Vancouver, B.C. while attending night classes under Frederick Varley at the Vancouver School of Art (V.S.A., now the Emily Carr University of Art and Design). In 1938, he began teaching at the V.S.A. and was the Head of Painting and Drawing Section until 1966.

However, Shadbolt would take leave from his teaching position to serve in World War II as acting administrative officer for the Canadian Army War Artists Program in London England. Shadbolt spent his days sorting through photographs taken at concentration camps and his evenings wandering through the ruins of London. It was near the end of the war and the destruction London was vast. The half-bombed out ruins of buildings, “deconstructed by bombs” along with the imagery of concentration camps had a profound psychological affect on him and themes of devastation and loss along with dark imagery of skeletons and ruins would emerge in his work.

In 1944, Shadbolt met Doris Meisel; they married a year later and would eventually become a power-couple in the West Coast art scene. In 1988, he and Doris started VIVA, the Vancouver Institute for Visual Arts, which offered generous financial awards to local visual artists and supported the Artists for Kids Trust, generating $500,000 to assist Vancouver-area students. To reflect the Shadbolt's lifetime support of the arts, the Burnaby Arts Centre was renamed the The Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, in 1995.

Shadbolt wrote three books on art and was an influential artist and teacher. He was the first artist to lead a workshop at the Emma Lake Artists' Workshops, in 1955.

In his later years, Shadbolt became interested in ideas of transformation and metamorphoses, painting clear-cut landscapes and butterflies from chrysalises. He experimented with a variety of styles and subjects, creating prints, watercolours and paintings using mixed media.

Shadbolt passed away in 1998. Doris set him up in a bed in his studio, in his mountainside house in Burnaby, B.C. He was surrounded by his own transformative work. He was 89.

Guggenheim Award (1957)
Molson Prize in (1977)
Gershon Iskowitz Award in (1990)
Honorary Degrees from four universities
Order of Canada (1972)
Freeman of the City of Vancouver (1989)
Represented Canada in the Venice & Sao Paulo Biennials

Selected Collections
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, ON
The Burnaby Art Gallery, Burnaby, BC
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC
University Victoria, Victoria, BC
Penticton Art Gallery, Penticton, BC
The Feckless Collection, Vancouver, BC


Lot Name
Jack Shadbolt, The Hornby Suite No. 1 and 11
22.8 x 14.5 inches
$400 - $450

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