International gallery Hauser & Wirth has begun showing its inaugural exhibitions of Guyana-born Anglo-American painter Sir Frank Bowling. The exhibitions are being staged in the gallery’s London and New York spaces simultaneously – a fitting setting marking a career of over 50 years, from 1967 to the present day, that has been truly transatlantic. The shows amount to a celebration of his exploratory and inventive ways with paint, which have marked him out as a pioneer of abstraction.
Having arrived in London from Guyana in 1953, and graduating from the Royal College of Art in 1962, Bowling divided his time between the art scenes in London and New York, maintaining studios in both cities, firstly achieving acclaim in London, and then attracting attention in the US where he became involved in the discussions surrounding ‘Black Art’ at the height of the Civil Rights movement. The migration from figurative to abstract art echoes the transatlantic shift in his career, and both the English landscape tradition and American abstract expressionism are detectable in his art, which he continues to evolve.
A new publication will be released by Hauser & Wirth Publishers to mark the exhibition, and in July the Arnolfini International Centre for Contemporary Arts in Bristol will open a solo exhibition of Bowling’s work as part of the Centre’s 60th anniversary. The Gallery’s website includes extensive biographical details, film of the artist discussing his work, and there is an exhibition tour on 4th June.