Frank Bowling

Statement/Biography

FRANK BOWLING (b. 1936)

Frank Bowling was born in British Guyana in 1936, yet belongs to the generation of British artists that became prominent in the sixties. Bowling graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1962 along with David Hockney and R.B. Kitaj and soon moved to New York where he lived for over a decade and found his artistic identity in the traditions of the Abstract Expressionists like Mark Rothko.  Vigorously dripping and pouring paint in lustrous accretions, he creates texturally complex paintings in which he plays with structure through collaged and brightly painted shapes.

In 1971 the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, held a one-person exhibition of Bowling’s work.  That same year, the noted critic Clement Greenberg became a mentor to Bowling and encouraged his exploration of modernism.

In 2005, he became the first black artist admitted into the Royal Academy, London and received the Order of the British Empire in 2008.  In recent years he has had solo museum exhibitions at the Tate Britain (2012), Spritmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden (2014-2015), and the Dallas Museum of Art (2015). 

Bowling’s work is represented in major public collections around the world including the Guyana National Collection, Castellani House, Georgetown, Guyana;  the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, New York; the Menil Foundation, Houston, Texas; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Royal College of Art, London; the Tate Britain, London; the Tate Modern, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; and the Whitney Museum, New York.

Bowling currently splits his time between London and New York.

CV
1936, born Bartica, Essequibo, British Guiana
1959, Regent Street Polytechnic, Chelsea School of Art, London
1962, MFA, Royal College of Art, London (silver medal)

Lives in both London and Brooklyn, New York 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS
Grabowski Gallery, London, 1962.
Grabowski Gallery, London, 1963.
Terry Dintenfass, New York, 1966.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1971.
Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York, 1973.
Gallery Center for Inter-American Relations, New York, 1973 – 74.
Noah Goldowsky Gallery, New York, 1974.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, 1975.
William Darby Gallery, London, 1976.
Watson/de Nagy and Company, Houston, 1976.
William Darby Gallery, London, 1977.
Acme Gallery, London, Selected Paintings 1976-77, 1977.
Polytechnic Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne, England, Frank Bowling Retrospective, 1978.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, 1979.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, 1980.
Vecu, Antwerp, Belgium, 1981.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, 1982.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, 1983.
Arcade Gallery, Harrogate, England, 1986.
Serpentine Gallery, London, 1986.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, 1986.
Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, England, 1988.
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland, 1988.
Municipal Art Gallery, Limerick, Ireland, 1988.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, 1989.
University Art Gallery, Reading, England, Bowling Through the Decade, 1989.
The Royal West of England Academy, Bristol, 1990.
Wilmer Jennings at Kenkeleba, New York, 1991.
Heimatmuseum, Eckernforde, Schleswig Hoistein, Germany, 1993.
National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, 1993.
Bill Hodges Gallery, New York, 1995.
The Cut Gallery, London, 1995.
Leicester City Gallery, Leicester, England (traveled to six various locations), Bowling Through the Century, 1996.
Camille Love Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, 1997.
Center for Art & Culture, Skylight Gallery, Brooklyn, 1997.
Christiane Nienaber Gallery, New York, 1997.
The Cut Gallery, London, 1997.
DE LA WARR Pavillion, Bexhill on Sea, East Sussex, England, 1997.
Gallery 11, University of Bradford, England, 1997.
The Herbert Art Museum and Gallery, Coventry, England, 1997.
Midlands Art Centre, Birmingham, England, 1997.
South Hill Park Arts Centre, Berkshire, England, 1997.
The YAA Asantewaa Arts Centre, London, 1997.
Rush Arts Gallery, New York, 1998.
UFA Gallery, New York, 1999.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Birmingham, Michigan, 2000.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, 2000.
Peg Alston Fine Arts, New York, 2000.
Georgetown Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 2001.
Rohde und Nerlich, Berlin, 2001.
UFA Gallery, New York, 2001.
Peg Alston Fine Arts, New York, 2002.
Aljira, A Center for the Arts, Newark, New Jersey, Bending the Grid, 2003.
Delibar, London, What’s Underneath, 2003.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Detroit, 2003.
Outfitters Gallery, Kent, 2003.
Skoto Gallery, New York, 2003.
Broadbent Gallery, London, 2004.
Heidi Cho Gallery, New York, 2004.
The Phillips Museum of Art, Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Four Decades of Color, 2004.
Sande Webster Gallery, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2004.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Detroit, Full of Light, 2005.
Peg Alston Fine Arts, New York, 2005.
Artsway, Hampshire, England, 2006.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, 2006.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, New York, 2006.
Rollo Contemporary Art, London, The White Paintings, 2006.
Royal Academy of Arts, London, Frank’s Colour, 2006 – 07.
The Arts Club in collaboration with Rollo Contemporary Art, London, 2007.
Peg Alston Fine Arts, New York, 2007.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, 2008.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Detroit, 2008.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, New York, 2008.
The Gallery, The Arts Institute of Bournemouth, Dorset, England, Big Paintings, 2008.
Poussin Gallery, London, Pondlife and Other Paintings, 2008.
Rollo Contemporary Art, London, 2008.
University of Wolverhampton School of Art + Design, England, 2008.
Clifford Chance, London, Light and Water, 2009.
Rollo Contemporary Art, London, Zippers and New Pictures, 2009.
Winchester Discover Centre, England, Paintings, 2009.
Rollo Contemporary Art, London, Frank Bowling – Recent Paintings, 2010.
Spanierman Modern, New York, Paintings, 1974 – 2010, 2010.
Hales Gallery, London, Enter the Dragon – Large Paintings from the 1980s, 2011.
Rollo Contemporary Art, London, CROSSINGS – From New Amsterdam, Berbice to New Amsterdam, New York via Holland and London, 2011.
Rollo Contemporary Art, London, Recent Works, 2011.
Rollo Contemporary Art, London, Works on Paper, 2011.
Royal Academy of Arts, London, Frank Bowling Works on Paper, 2011.
Tate Britain, London, Poured Paintings, 2011 – 12.
Chris Dyson Gallery, London, Recent Small Paintings, 2012.
Hales Gallery, London, Recent Large Paintings, 2012.
Spanierman Modern, New York, New Paintings, 2012.
Spanierman Modern, New York, Paintings 1967-2012, 2013.
Hales Gallery, London, The Map Paintings 1967-1971, 2013.
Spanierman Modern, New York, Frank Bowling: At 80, 2014.
Spiritmuseum, Stockholm, Sweden, Traingone: Paintings by Frank Bowling 1979-96, 2014-15.
Selwyn Fine Art, California, Frank Bowling, 2015.
Triangle Space and Cookhouse Galleries, Chelsea College of Art, London, , Frank Bowling: Right Here, Right Now, 2015.
Dallas Museum of Art Frank Bowling: Map Paintings, 2015.
Hales Gallery, London, Frank Bowling: The Poured Paintings, 2015.
Hampstead School of Art, London, New White Paintings, 2016.
Hales Project Room, New York, Metropolitanblooms, 2017.
Hales Gallery, London, Fishes, Wishes in Summertime Blue, 2017.
Haus der Kunst, Germany, Mappa Mundi, 2017 (touring to Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland and Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE).
Christian Larsen, Stockholm, Sweden, Frank Bowling: Towards the Light, 2018.
Tate Britiain, London, Frank Bowling, 2019
Hales Gallery, London, Frank Bowling: Recent Paintings, 2019. 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Tate Gallery, London, The London Group, 1964.
Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, The Obsessive Image, 1968.
The Art Museum, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey (traveled to State University of New York, Stonybrook), 5 + 1, 1969.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Whitney Annual Contemporary American Painting, 1969.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Afro-American Artists, 1970.
Rice University, Houston, Some American History, 1970.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Contemporary Black Artists in America, 1971.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Whitney Biennial: Contemporary American Art, 1971.
Guyana Consulate, New York, Two Guyanese Painters, Phillip Moore and Frank Bowling, 1972.
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, The Golden Door, Artist Immigrants of America, 1876 – 1976, 1976.
Philadelphia College of Art, Pennsylvania, Artists’ Maps, 1977.
Royal Academy of Arts, London, 25 Years of British Painting, 1977.
Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina, Selected Works from Tibor de Nagy Gallery, 1978.
Bronx Museum, New York, Contemporary Caribbean Artists – African Expressions, 1979.
Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, England (traveled to Newcastle; Bristol), British Art Show, 1979.
Russell Coates Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth, The Russell Coates Modern Artists Exhibition, 1979.
Hayward Gallery, London, Hayward Annual, 1980.
John Michael Kohler Art Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Maps, 1980.
Royal Academy of Arts, London, Summer Exhibition, 1980.
University of Texas, Austin (traveled to Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio), Mapped Art, 1981 – 83.
The Currier Gallery, Manchester, New Hampshire (traveled to The Heckscher Museum, Huntington, New York; Kresge Art Center, Michigan State University, East Lansing), Bowling, Loving, Mohr, 1982.
Gimpel Fils, London, Place 1, 1983.
Colby College Art Gallery, Waterville, Maine, 1984.
Leicester Museum, England, Caribbean Expressions in Britain, 1986.
Americas Society, New York (traveled to El Paso Museum of Art, Texas; Boston University Art Gallery, Massachusetts; University of Florida, Gainesville; Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island), The First American: Selections from the Nancy Sayles Day Collection of Latin America Art, 1987.
Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York (traveled to Kingsborough Community College Gallery, City University of New York), Variations in Matter Painting, 1987.
Serpentine Gallery, London, On a Plate, 1987.
Smiths Gallery, Covent Garden, London, The Day Book, 1987.
Trelawney Road, Bristol, England, Painting and Sculpture, 1987.
Fuse Gallery, London, 1988.
Mappin Art Gallery, Sheffield, England (traveled to Hatton Gallery, New Castle; Ikon Gallery, Birmingham), The Presence of Painting, Aspects of British Abstraction, 1988.
Royal Academy of Art, London, Summer Exhibition, 1988.
Royal College of Art, London, Exhibition Road, Painters at the Royal College of Art, 1988.
Whitechapel Gallery, London, Whitechapel Open, 1988 – 89.
198 Gallery, London, 1989.
Atkinson Art Gallery, Stockport, England (traveled to Skelmersdale Library Art Centre, Lancashire), My Generation, 10 Contemporary Abstract Artists, 1989.
Hayward Gallery, London (traveled to Wolverhampton; Manchester), The Other Story, Afro-Asian Artists in Post War Britain, 1989.
Royal Academy of Arts, Summer Exhibition, 1989.
South London Gallery, London, Recent Painting & Sculpture, 1989.
Swindon (traveled to Bradford; Cheltenham; Huddersfield), Jouvert, 1989.
Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York, Chicago Art Fair, 1989.
The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio, National Mid-Year Exhibition, 1989.
The Umana Yana, Georgetown, Guyana, 1989.
The Royal Academy of Arts, London, Summer Exhibition, 1990.
Crane Gallery, London, Affinities in Paint, 1991.
Greenwich Citizens Gallery, London (traveled to Lanchester Gallery, Coventry Polytechnic, England), 1991.
Kenkeleba House, New York (traveled to Cleveland Institute of Art, Ohio; State University of New York,
New Paltz), The Search for Freedom, African American Abstract Painting 1945 – 75, 1991.
Dakar Biennale, Senegal (traveled to Abidjan), A Cross Currents, Synthesis in African American Abstract Painting, 1992.
South London Gallery, London, 2nd Coming, 1992.
Whitechapel Gallery, Whitechapel Open, 1992.
Fitchburg Museum, Massachusetts (traveled to Newport Art Museum, Rhode Island; Farnsworth Museum, Rockland, Maine), Landscape as Metaphor: The Transcendental Vision, 1993.
Brenau University, Gainsville, Florida, Gala, 1994.
Camille Love Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, Dimensions of Guyana, 1994.
Center for Fine Arts, Miami (traveled to New Orleans Museum of Art, Louisiana; The Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford, Connecticut), Caribbean Visions: Contemporary Painting and Sculpture, 1994.
Clove Gallery, London, 1994.
Skoto Gallery, New York, 1994.
School 33 Art Center, Baltimore, Maryland, Abstract in Black, 1995.
Skoto Gallery, New York, 1995.
Harlech Biennale, Wales, United Kingdom, 1996.
Mail Galleries, London, The Discerning Eye, 1996.
Tribes Gallery, New York, For the Young Collector, aka Small Gems, 1996 – 97.
Cinque Gallery, New York, In the Spirit, 1997 – 98.
Judith Klein Gallery, New York, Celebration (Significant Smaller Works), 1997 – 98.
The Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean, City University of New York, Space, Time & Object – Black Abstractionists, 1997 – 98.
Skylight Gallery, Center for Art and Culture, Brooklyn, Skylight Gallery Holiday Exhibition, 1997 – 98.
Tribes Gallery, New York, A Year in the Life of Present Modernism, 1997 – 98.
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton, The African-American Fine Arts Collection of the New Jersey State Museum, 1998.
OK Harris Gallery, New York, The Fanelli Show, 1998.
City Gallery East, Atlanta, Georgia, African American Abstraction, 2000.
Kenkeleba Gallery, New York, 19th & 20th Century: African American Art, 2000.
The Custom House Gallery, Mill Dam, England, In Marine Light, 2000.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Chicago, Take Five, 2001.
G.R. N’Namdi Gallery, Detroit, Forms of Abstraction 111.  Abstract Works from the 60s, 70s, & 80s: Bowling, Clark, Edwards, Gilliam, Hunt, Hutson, Lovin, Pindell, Whitten, 2001.
Katonah Museum of Art, New York, Jazz and Visual Improvisation, 2001.
Broadbent Gallery, London, The Painted Path, 2002.
Gallery, Lincoln, England, Tate Unseen, Living Artists from the Tate Storeroom, 2002.
Jack Tilton/Anna Kustera Gallery, New York, No Greater Love, Abstraction, 2002.
Outfitters Gallery, Kent, England, Not Just for Christmas: Visual Art with Life and Soul, 2002.
Pilgrim Gallery, London, Confluence, 2002.
Sugar Hill Art Center, New York, Six American Masters – Bowling, Carter, Clark, Hutson, Loving, Pindell, 2002.
Woodlands Gallery, London, London Group, 2002.
50th Venice Biennale, Italy, Faultlines: Contemporary African Art and Shifting Landscapes, 2003.
The Phillips Museum of Art, Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania (traveled to Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York; Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University, Manhattan; California African-American Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Texas Tech University, Lubbock; Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan; Morris Museum of Art, Augusta, Georgia; Robeson Galleries, Pennsylvania State University, University Park), 2004 – 08.
Savacou Gallery, New York, Ill’lusion, 2004.
Tate Britain, London, This Was Tomorrow: Art and the 60s, 2004.
University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, A Century of African American Art: The Paul R. Jones Collection, 2004.
Bankside Gallery, London, The London Group Annual Exhibition, 2005.
The Nathan Cummings Foundation, New York, Unstitched, Unbound: Imprints for Change, 2006.
The Studio Museum, New York, Energy/Experimentation: Black Artists, 1964 – 80, 2006.
Crawford Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland, [c] artography – Map – Making As ARTFORM, 2007.
G.R. N’Namdi Galleries, Chicago, Detroit, New York, 25th Anniversary Exhibition: Forms of Abstraction, 2007. 
Muzeum Aztuki, Lodz, Poland, Swinging London, Collection of Grabowski, 2007.
Jubilee Library, Brighton, England, Redemption Song, 2008.
Menier Gallery, London, The London Group, 95th Anniversary Exhibition, 2008.
Rollo Contemporary Art, London, Rollo Preview 08, 2008.
Boca Raton Museum of Art, Florida, Expanding Boundaries: Lyrical Abstraction, 2009.
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York, Purchase, British Subjects: Identity & Self-Fashioning 1965- 2009, 2009.
Royal Academy of Arts, London, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 2009.
Spanierman Modern, New York, Gallery Selections, 2009.
Spanierman Modern, New York, Mark of the Hand, 2009.
University Museums, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, Sound: Print: Record: African American Legacies, 2009.
Anita Shapolsky Gallery, New York, African American Masters of Abstraction, 2010.
Poussin Gallery, London, Poussin Review 2010: New to Sight, 2010.
Tate Liverpool, England, Afro Modern: Journeys through the Black Atlantic, 2010.
The Cello Factory, London, The London Group Annual Exhibition 2010, 2010.
University Museums, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, Abstract Relations, 2010.
Burlington House, London, Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 2011.
The Cello Factory, London, Bowling’s Crew, 2011.
Kings Place Gallery, London, Ruth Borhcard Self-Portrait Competition and Exhibition, 2011.
The Cello Factory, London, A Family Affair, 2012.
The Cello Factory, London, Bowling’s Friends, 2012.
The Piper Gallery, London, New Possibilities: Abstract Painting from the Seventies, 2012.
Spanierman Gallery, New York, Fifteen Contemporary Artists, 2012.
Spanierman Modern, New York, Solomon, Boxer, Bowling, 2012.
Tate Britain, London, Migrations, 2012.
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, British Design, 1948-2012, Innovation in the Modern Age, 2012.
Standpoint Gallery, London, Grit to Gold: Collaging the Abstract: Frank Bowling, O.B.E., RA, John Bunker, Scott O’Rouke, 2013.
Tate Gallery, London, BP Walk Through British Art, 2013.
De la Warr Pavilion, Bexhill on Sea, I Cheer a Dead Man’s Sweetheart, 2014.
Perez Art Museum Miami, Caribbean: Crossroads of the World, 2014.
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties, 2014.
The Menil Collection, Houston, Texas, Affecting Presence and the Pursuit of Delicious Experiences, 2015.
Mascalls Gallery, Paddock Wood, A Marriage of Styles: Pop to Abstraction, 2015.
The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, Pretty Raw: After and Around Helen Frankenthaler, 2015.
Haus der Kunst, Munich, Postwar – Art between the Pacific and Atlantic 1945-65, 2016.
New Art Gallery Walsall, West Midlands, Land, Sea and Air, 2016.
Berry Campbell, New York, Summer Selections, 2016.
Studio Museum Harlem, New York, Circa 1970, 2016.
The Warehouse, Dallas, Thinking Out Loud: Notes for an Evolving Collection, 2017.
Royal Academy of Arts, London, Summer Exhibition, 2017.
Tate Modern, London, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 2017 (touring to Crystal Bridges, Arkansas, and Brooklyn, Museum, New York)
Pace, London, Impulse!, 2017.
Tate, London, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 2018
Brooklyn Museum, New York, Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 2018.
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s, 2019.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera, 2018. 


SELECTED COLLECTIONS
American Telephone and Telegraph Corporation, New York
Arts Council of Great Britain, Yorkshire
Boca Raton Museum, Florida
Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Lisbon, Portugal
Carmen & G.R.N’Namdi Collection, Detroit
Chase Manhattan Bank, New York
Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London
Cornell University, Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Ithaca, New York
Currier Gallery, Manchester, New Hampshire
Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland
Dallas Museum of Art
De Menil Foundation, Houston, Texas
Franklin and Marshall College, The Phillips Museum of Art, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Guyana National Collection, Castellani House, Georgetown, Guyana
Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, England
John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, New York
Lloyds of London
London Borough of Southwark
London Lighthouse
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Michigan State University, Kresge Art Center, East Lansing, Michigan
National Gallery of Jamaica, Kingston, Jamaica, West Indies
National Gallery of Wales
New Jersey State Museum, Trenton
Neuberger Museum, State University of New York at Purchase, New York
Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation, Toledo, Ohio
Port Authority of New York, World Trade Center
New York Rhode Island School of Design, Providence
Rivercross Tenants Corporation, New York
Royal Academy of Arts, London
Royal College of Art, London
Tate Gallery, London
University of Liverpool, England
University of Delaware, Newark
“The Paul R. Jones Collection” Unilever PLC
Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Westinghouse Corporation, Monroeville, Pennsylvania
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York


AWARD, FELLOWSHIPS, AND GRANTS
1962  Associate of the Royal College of Art [MFA]
1962  Royal College of Art, Silver Medal
1963  Calouste-Gulbenkian Foundation, Painting Purchase Award
1964  Shakespeare Quarto-Centenary, Stratford-on-Avon, England Three canvases commissioned
1966  First World Festival of Negro Art, Dakar, Senegal Grand Prize for Contemporary Art
1967  Painting Prize, Edinburgh Open 100, Edinburgh, Scotland
1967  John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship
1968 – 69  Artist in Residence, New York State Council of the Arts, Critics Choice Program
1972  Visiting Artists Program, New York State Council of the Arts
1973  John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship
1975  New York State CAPS Award Arts Council of Great Britain Award
1992  Pollock Krasner Award
1996  “Absolut Bowling”, Absolut Vodka Commission
1998  Pollock Krasner Award
2005  Member Royal Academy of Art, England
2006  Honorary Fellow, The Arts Institute at Bournemouth, Dover, England
2007  Honorary Doctorate, University of Wolverhampton, England
2008  OBE: Order of the British Empire. Painter and Writer and Services to Art
2011  Bowling painting Lettice’s Choice used as cover image for The Routledge Companion to World Literarure. Edited by Theo D’haen, David Damiosch & Djilal Kadir
2011  Publication of monograph: Frank Bowling monograph written by Mel Gooding published by the Royal Academy of Arts