PREVIEW: Frank Bowling, Tate Britain

On display from the 31st May, Tate Britain will present the first retrospective to explore the artist’s 60 year career.  

Cover Girl 1966, Private Collection
© Frank Bowling. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019.

This exhibition will celebrate the full length of Frank Bowling’s career from the 1960’s, exploring how he expanded the possibilities of paint, influencing artists with his kaleidoscope style paintings.

Born in Guyana (then British Guiana) in 1934, at 19 years old Bowling moved to London as part of the Windrush Generation. He then went on to study painting at the Royal College of Art. This display will bring together rarely seen works and iconic series that highlights the range of his work.

Some of the key works that will be displayed in the exhibition includes  key series such as the iconic ‘map paintings’, the visually arresting ‘poured paintings’ made by pouring paint down an inclined surface, and the sculptural paintings of the 1980s evoking riverbeds.

Meanwhile, one of the rooms of the exhibition will be dedicated to the ‘Poured Paintings’for whichBowlingcreated an energetic and innovative painting style, pouring acrylic paint from heights of up to two meters to form cascades of colour reminiscent of waterfalls or lava flow.

Further highlights of the exhibition will include poignantly autobiographical works such as a selection of canvases from the 1960s that bridge pop and colour field painting and feature stenciled images of Bowling’s childhood home. Tate Britain will also display Sacha Jason Guyana Dreams 1989, a vibrant composition inspired by the artist’s first visit to Guyana with his son Sacha. 

The exhibition is curated by Elena Crippa, Curator, Modern and Contemporary British Artand Laura Castagnini, Assistant Curator. 

Frank Bowling‘s work will be displayed at Tate Britain from the 31st  May until the 26th August. 

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