Biography of JACK LEONARD SHADBOLT
SHADBOLT, Jack Leonard RCA, BCSA, CGP, CSPWC, OC (1909-1998). Born in Shoeburyness, England, Shadbolt came to Victoria, British Columbia in 1912, and studied education at the Victoria Normal School (1929); evenings under Fred Varley at the Vancouver School of Art, Vancouver, British Columbia (1933-1936); with Victor Pasmore and William Coldstream at the Euston Road School of Art, London, England (1937-1938); with Andre L’hote at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere, Paris, France (1938); and at the Art Students’ League, New York City, New York (1948-1949). He also travelled to France, Italy and Greece (1956-1961), and Iran, Afghanistan, Nepal and India (1975-1976), and met and was influenced by Emily Carr. Working in a wide variety of mediums including oil, acrylic, watercolour, gouache, latex, crayon, charcoal, pencil, ink, linocuts, serigraph, lithography, and mixed media collage, he is best known for his semi-abstract and symbolic images based on the West Coast landscape, nature and animals. His early work (1930s & 1940s) is illustrative, done mostly in pen, pencil and watercolour, and usually depicts Vancouver street scenes, landmarks, and buildings. He explored transformation themes in his ‘Butterfly’ series in 1988. He worked in a variety of styles from Social Realism to Surrealism to Abstract Expressionism. He worked as a high school art teacher (1928-1937), was an official war artist in 1945, taught at an Emma Lake workshop, Saskatchewan (1955), and taught at the Vancouver School of Art (1938-1966). He married Doris Meisel in 1945. He wrote two books, In Search of Form (1968) and Mind’s I (1973). He died in Vancouver, British Columbia. He received a Guggenheim award in 1957 and honorary doctorates from the University of Victoria in 1973, the University of British Columbia in 1978, and Simon Fraser University in 1978. He held solo exhibitions of his work at the VAG in 1936-1991, AGO in 1950, AGGV in 1954, 1961, 1980, 1988, SAM in 1958, EAG in 1964, BAG in 1967 and 1996, NGC in 1970, and the GM in 1991, and exhibited at the Sao Paulo Biennale in 1953, the Venice Biennale in 1956, the NGC Biennale in 1955-1961 and 1965, with the RCA in 1941, 1942 and 1964, and the MMFA in 1947-1968. His murals are located in the Edmonton International Airport, Charlottetown Confederation Centre, and the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. His work is in the collections of the AGGV, AGH, AGO, BAGF, CCAB, GM, MAC, MAG, MMFA, NGC, SAM, SFU, VAG, and WAG.
Biographical Information Courtesy of The Collector's Dictionary of Canadian Artists at Auction, Volume IV: S-Z
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