Frank Bowling (1936 - )

Acrylic on canvas


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© Frank Bowling / courtesy Rollo Contemporary Art

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  • About the work
    Country: Other
    City: public exhibitions

    In Kaieteurtoo a rush of lines run vertically down the canvas. The work refers to Kaieteur Falls, in central Guyana, one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. Frank Bowling was born in British Guyana and this work, like many of his atmospheric, joyous paintings, is reminiscent of the tropical landscape where he grew up: 

    'Guyana is where I was born, and the name of the place is the land of waters, everywhere you go in Guyana there is water'. 

    To achieve the sense of a downpour, the artist Bowling set up his canvas at a 45 degree angle on trestle table, and poured paint from the top of the canvas, allowing the colours to flow and fuse freely. Bowling pioneered this method of creating abstract, atmospheric paintings in 1970s. His concern is with the materiality of painting and in particular the way that form and colour interact to create a tactile, sensuous presence on the surface of the work. Bowling mixes acrylic paint in jam jars, the lids of which, along with other discarded objects, sometimes find their way on to the canvas.

  • About the artist
    Frank Bowling was born in Bartica, British Guyana in 1936. It was in London in 1953 that Bowling, as a teenager doing his national service, felt he first discovered art. He studied initially at Regent Street Polytechnic, and then went on to the Royal College of Art, graduating in 1962. From the 1960s he divided his time between London and New York, maintaining a studio in each city. Since 2000 Bowling has had many solo exhibitions in the United States, principally in New York, Detroit and Chicago. In 2005 he was the first Black artist to be recognised by the Royal Academy of Arts (RA) in London; and his solo exhibition in 2006 at Rollo Contemporary Art was a celebration of his election to the RA. A major critically-acclaimed retrospective of Bowling's work was held at Tate Britain, London, in 2019. His work is represented in many major public collections including the Metropolitan Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate, London.
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    Materials & Techniques
    acrylic (paint), canvas, acrylic painting
  • Details
    Series Title
    Poured Paintings
    Acrylic on canvas
    height: 185.50 cm, width: 105.50 cm
    Purchased from Rollo Contemporary Art, July 2009
    verso on canvas: 1976 ; verso on canvas (stamped): FRANK BOWLING ; verso on stretcher cross-bar: FRANK BOWLING "KAIETEUR TOO" 1976
    Rollo Contemporary Art, London
    GAC number