Frank Bowling’s retrospective at Tate Britain, London

Frank Bowling’s retrospective at Tate Britain, London

Tate Britain is hosting Frank Bowling’s first major retrospective of works of the Guyana-born British artist. The show is on view through August 26, 2019.

“Tate Britain charts Frank Bowling’s rise to becoming one of Britain’s most visionary painters. Born in Guyana (then British Guiana), Bowling moved to London in 1953, and while serving in the RAF met Keith Critchlow who introduced him to the London art scene,” the museum says.

The exhibition showcases early figurative work including “Cover Girl,” 1966, not shown in the UK since it was painted, alongside his groundbreaking series of works from the 1970s and 1980s as well as new works created over the past decade. Among special highlights of the show are 10 of Bowling’s celebrated ‘map paintings,’ including “Who’s Afraid of Barney Newman” (1968) and “Polish Rebecca” (1971).

Frank Bowling is known for constantly pushing the possibilities of paint. Since the early 1960s, Bowling (b. 1934) explored and expanded the possibilities of paint, influencing generations of artists through his spectacular kaleidoscopic paintings. This exhibition at Tate Britain highlights the full breadth of Bowling’s practice, bringing together his iconic as well as rarely seen works that highlight the quality and range of the artist’s remarkable six-decade-long career.

In this series of works, the entire room of the exhibition is dedicated to the breathtaking ‘poured paintings.’ These were an energetic and innovative group of painting — a style that the artist invented by pouring acrylic paint from heights of up to two meters to form cascades of color reminiscent of waterfalls or lava flow.

“The persistent need to reinvent painting later fueled the development of a highly sculptural approach, introducing three-dimensional objects, multiple canvases, metallic pigments, chalk and gels to create densely textured surfaces and loosely geometric structures,” the museum says.

Additional highlights include autobiographical works such as a selection of canvases from the 1960s that bridge pop and color field painting and feature stenciled images of Bowling’s childhood home, and a selection of paintings Bowling made over the last decade, a period that is defined by explosive productivity and experimentation on the artist’s practice.

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Founder: Louise Blouin  


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