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Recent Works on Paper by Frank Bowling RA at the Royal Academy


An exhibition exploring recent works on paper by the painter Frank Bowling RA is on view from May 27 through October 23, 2011 at the Royal Acadeny of Arts. Bowling’s art reflects his travels, actual and aesthetic, between his birthplace of British Guiana (now Guyana) and his homes and studios in London and New York; between the tradition of English landscape painting and the legacy of American Abstract Expressionism. Bowling

Similar to the much larger paintings on canvas for which Bowling is renowned, these works in acrylic paint and gel on heavy paper have a powerful physical presence created by their vibrant colours and tactile surfaces. These works originated in Bowling’s need to find a new way to paint and their gestural quality seems magnified by their smaller scale. The works are abstract, yet the viewer is led to figurative or representational associations by the artist’s obvious preoccupation with space and light and the allusive titles that he gives them.

Frank Bowling (b. 1936) studied alongside David Hockney and R. B. Kitaj at the Royal College of Art from 1959 to 1962. Following a move to New York City in 1966, he had a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1971. Alongside his painting, Bowling was a contributing editor at Arts Magazine from 1969 to 1972, and has taught at a number of institutions including Columbia University, New York City. In 2005, Bowling was elected a Royal Academician. He lives and works in London and New York, maintaining studios in both cities.

Excerpts from a forthcoming documentary film on Frank Bowling’s life and work, currently in production, is also on show.

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