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Frank Bowling O.B.E., RA AT EIGHTY

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2014
Published by: Spanierman Modern, New York
Year published: 2014
Number of pages: 16
ISBN: 978-1-935617-23-5

image of Frank Bowling O.B.E., RA AT EIGHTY

2016 marked the 80th birthday of Frank Bowling, the artist having been born in Guyana in 1936. This exhibition, Frank Bowling O.B.E., RA AT EIGHTY took place at Spanierman Modern, in New York, April 24 - May 28, 2014. The exhibition featured a selection of Bowling’s paintings, made in the immediate years leading up to 2014. The exhibition came with this important catalogue, extensively illustrated with colour plates, and a text by Jim Hunter, Professor Emeritus of Painting, the Arts University Bournemouth.

From Hunter’s text in the catalogue Frank Bowling O.B.E., RA AT EIGHTY: “My visits to Frank Bowling in his London studio are always extraordinary and inspirational experiences. Each time I am astounded by the scale of his ambition and the visual and physical presence of his paintings. In the rather gloomy space of his Peacock Yard studio, the paintings glow with the colors and forms of other worlds and distant places. Bowling is generous in talking about his work and sharing his thoughts on painting, and this generosity of spirit imbues the substance of his paintings.

In October 2013 I visited Bowling with the purpose of viewing new paintings that were to be taken to New York and prepared for this exhibition. Some were still to be completed, and all of them were yet to be finalized, as exhibition-ready. We viewed them tacked to the studio wall and spread out on the floor, laying one over another so that relationships between the pieces were revealed and then obscured. Rendered in a variety of formats and dimensions, they showed new methods within Bowling’s creative practices and, integral to these, new formal figurations and imagery.

The group, and individual pieces, will be determined finally in New York. Bowling has, for a long time, maintained the practice of producing paintings in both his New York and London studios: works may be started in one of his studios and then completed in the other. The paintings are a product of this dynamic, and are treated by Bowling as a part and (literal) parcel of his dual location in the two cities: both the place and the and process of their making is fluid. The paintings are not “fixed” in terms of the place of their making, neither in the ways and means of their making, nor in their physical form as paintings…”

Towards the back of the catalogue, there is a page with useful and informative biographical summary on Bowling, including: “Bowling first visited New York City in 1961. Dissatisfied at the time with his career in London, he established a residence in New York in 1966. He soon discovered that the raw vitality of the creative-cultural scene in New York suited his temperament and stimulated his art. Although his first one-man exhibition in New York, held the year of his arrival, consisted of autobiographical figurative paintings typical of his early work, the new work the artist was producing by this time already gave evidence of the increasingly abstract work he would create in the years that followed…”

Contents as follows:

Bibliographic details

Exhibition details

Full page colour reproduction of Pale Totem, 2013, acrylic on canvas, 73 x 49 inches

Untitled essay by Jim Hunter (two of Bowling’s paintings appear within two of the essay’s pages)

nine colour plates of Bowling’s paintings, one image per page.

Page with useful and informative biographical summary on Bowling, with an uncredited monochrome photograph of the artist

List of Selected Public and Corporate Collections

The front and back cover features a detail of Forseabouquet, 2013, acrylic on canvas 35 x 70 inches. An image of the complete painting appears on the page with the exhibition’s details

Related people

»  (Sir) Frank Bowling OBE, RA

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

Related exhibitions

Related venues

»  Spanierman Modern

New York, New York, USA, United States of America