Artwork by Jack Leonard Shadbolt,  Contexts: Variations on Primavera Theme

Jack Shadbolt
Contexts: Variations on Primavera Theme

acrylic on poster
signed and titled on the reverse
20 x 26 ins ( 50.8 x 66 cms )

Auction Estimate: $3,000.00$2,000.00 - $3,000.00

Price Realized $2,070.00
Sale date: November 23rd 2017

Jack Shadbolt, City of Vancouver, Public Art Registry [online] accessed September 12, 2017
One panel of a completed 15 hand-painted posters of the primavera theme, the collective works come to form a mosaic-like mural. This series was based off of a large work completed for UBC’s Okanagan campus in the Ballroom inside the University Centre.

On this series, Shadbolt explains: “What better than a great ‘primavera’ for Spring to cheer the spirit? And what more impressive than a large sculptural relief in full colour? And what more poetically exuberant as a permanent symbol than two splendid butterflies breaking from the white cocoon of Spring - the one on the left an abstraction of pieces coming together to form the insect and the one on the right a full-fledged realization? It is hoped that once the mind is focussed in this direction a certain transformational process is suggested and with it certain mythological overtones might unfold. The cocoon may then become the violet and white mythic egg from which Spring is born. The symbolic bird and flowers now become the guardians of this ritual birth of new life, this PRIMAVERA.”

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Jack Leonard Shadbolt
(1909 - 1998) RCA

Jack Shadbolt was a dominant figure in the Vancouver art scene beginning in the 1940s, alongside B.C. Binning. Shadbolt drew from many sources of inspiration, including Cubism, Surrealism, American Regionalism and Northwest Coast Native American art. He drew on these various sources to help him express his deep affinity for nature and its cultural representation.

Shadbolt emigrated from England in 1912 and moved first to the BC interior before settling in Victoria in 1914. He met Emily Carr in 1930 while attending Victoria College, who left a strong impression on his life and work. Although their artistic styles varied considerably from one another, they were both inspired by the spiritual unity with nature apparent in Northwest Coast Native American art. Shadbolt was an official war artist in the Canadian Army during World War II. After the war, he resumed his post as a faculty member at the Vancouver School of Art, and in 1987 founded the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts with his wife Doris (now The Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts). Shadbolt studied at the Art Students' League in New York, London, and Paris, and with Group of Seven member Frederick Varley at the Vancouver School of Art. He received numerous accolades during his lifetime, including Officer of the Order of Canada and the Order of British Columbia.