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Frank Bowling RA

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2006
Published by: ArtSway (in association with ROLLO Contemporary Art
Year published: 2006
ISBN: 0-9543930-6-6

image of Frank Bowling RA

Joint catalogue for two related exhibitions by Frank Bowling. The White Paintings, by Frank Bowling, RA, 13 May - 2 July 2006, ArtSway, Hampshire and Frank Bowling, Latest Paintings: A Celebration of His Election to the Royal Academy of Arts, at Rollo Contemporary Art, London, 9 March - 13 April 2006.

The preface to the exhibition’s catalogue consisted of one paragraph written by Simon R. Gillespie, Director of ROLLO Contemporary Art:

“When I first visited Frank in his studio, I was struck by his extraordinary confidence in his use of colour and paint. Belonging to the famous class of 1962 at the Royal College of Art, which included David Hockney, Derek Boshier, Peter Phillips and RB Kitaj, he is a seminal figure in post-war British art. Bowling is the first black British artist to be elected to the Royal Academy in its 200 year history. It is an honour to be hosting Frank’s exhibition of latest paintings: a celebration of his recent election and a fitting recognition of a lifetime’s achievement.”

Followed by a paragraph written by Mark Segal:

“Rarely publicly exhibited Frank Bowling’s white paintings can be considered a private and discrete concern, quietly pursued throughout his career (starting with the still life’s while at the Royal College of Art), sensitive counterpoints to the vibrant abstract canvases for which he is best known. Their making usually accompanied personal or memorable moments, such as the occasion of his son, Dan’s birth (while snow was falling in January 1962) or while stranded in Brooklyn’s harsh winter of 1992-93, in a cold water loft, awaiting his green card. The recent work, produced with loss and regret as a memorial to Dan following his death in November 2001 (and with typical mischief suggested as a theme for a museum exhibition) harness a white fire and a fury, which makes Bowling such a powerful exponent of the material of paint.”

The catalogue’s main text is a ‘conversation’ betwwen Frank Bowling and Matthew Collings. It is though, something of a curious affair, in that Collings speaks of Bowling in a detached way, as if lecturing about him. For example “I think he must find Turner an inspiration.” Bowling’s ‘answers’ or ‘responses’ are, in contrast, very much personal: “When [Bowling’s son] Dan died I felt utterly at a loss.”

Catalogue contents as follows:

Preface, by Simon R. Gillespie and Mark Segal

SEE HOW THEY WORK: FRANK BOWLING’S PAINTINGS | Matthew Collings Conversation with Frank Bowling, RA, January 2006.

List of Works (22 colour plates, of the two series of work)

Frank Bowling RA Selected CV



Related people

»  (Sir) Frank Bowling OBE, RA

Born, 1935 - 1937 (probably 1936) in British Guiana (now Guyana) Caribbean/S. America

»  Matthew Collings

Born, 1955

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  ArtSway

Sway, Hampshire, United Kingdom

»  ROLLO Contemporary Art

London, United Kingdom