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Stephen Bush

Stephen_Bush,_I_am_a_mountain_I_can_see_clearly_2008.jpg

Stephen Bush | Australia b.1958 | I am a mountain I can see clearly 2008 | Oil and enamel on linen | 200 x 310cm | Purchased 2008. The Queensland Government’s Gallery of Modern Art Acquisitions Fund | Collection: Queensland Art Gallery | © Stephen Bush, 2008. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney, 2009

Stephen Bush I am a mountain I can see clearly 2008

Stephen Bush                                 
Australia  b.1958
I am a mountain I can see clearly 2008
Oil and enamel on linen
200 x 310cm
Purchased 2008. The Queensland Government’s Gallery of Modern Art Acquisitions Fund
Collection: Queensland Art Gallery
© Stephen Bush, 2008. Licensed by Viscopy, Sydney, 2009

Stephen Bush

I am a mountain I can see clearly 2008

Stephen Bush works with both lurid abstraction and figurative realism, creating guttural juxtapositions of the visceral and the sublime. With I am a mountain I can see clearly, Bush has brought the work of nineteenth-century painter ‘Mad John’ Martin into unlikely alignment with alpine scenery and a rustic cabin that might have been lifted from a 1970s chocolate box. By placing such incongruous elements amid a setting that borrows freely from a lineage of landscape conventions, Bush is able to turn some of the genre’s central terms inside out.

Bush borrows conventions from historical landscape painting, such as the romantic sublime and the picturesque, in order to dismantle the associative elements of such traditions. He cultivates a sense of play by juxtaposing kitsch, folksy elements, with accidental effects created in swirling pools of pigment.

In this work, Bush speculates about a wider sense of the universe and presents us with magical vistas, bringing together what would not normally be seen in one view, and shaping disparate elements with his own sense of imagination and wonder. By juxtaposing the surreal with the real, the abstract with the figural, Bush creates fantastical arrangements that are at once carefully executed and utterly spontaneous.