Frank Bowling: Pushing the Possibilities of Paint, Tate Britain - ★★★ - Until August 26, 2019


David Hockney - R.B. Kitaj - Frank Bowling? Bowling is the Royal College artist you’ve probably not heard of. He never fitted the ‘Pop’ label despite using images from popular culture. His work was always more painterly and in the 1960s he bridged the gap between Pop and abstraction. He’s still painting and experimenting at the age of 85, and this is the first major retrospective of his work. It takes us from figurative pieces such as ‘Cover Girl’ (1966) to the large abstract, ‘Wafting’ (2018). ‘Mirror’ (1966) is a mix of figuration and abstraction: the figures - as elsewhere - resemble Bacon’s and the spiral staircase could be referring to Duchamp’s. Indeed, the influences are many and eclectic. Moving to New York triggered a more abstract approach, and Bowling played a role there in debates around ‘Black Art’. On the other hand, a childhood in Guyana led to an interest in geo-politics that is behind the series of large ‘Map’ paintings. Location has also been a critical influence, and the Thames-inspired paintings play with the English landscape tradition. The ‘poured’ works are simply about the process of painting, embracing the results of controlled accident and chance. Throughout Bowling's work, the use of rich colour is joyful and the idea of boundaries being pushed is exhilarating.

Reviewed by A.L.

 Our Score:  ☆☆☆ 

WHEN, WHERE, GETTING THERE:
Until August 26, 2019

Daily: 10 am - 6 pm
Tate Britain
Nearest tube: Southwark
www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/frank-bowling

Most Popular

Good Grief, Platform Presents and Finite Films - ★★★★★ - Feb 15 - Apr 15, 2021

All On Her Own, MZG Theatre Productions (online) - ★★★★★ - February 16-21, 2021

Sir John Soane's Museum Guided Tour - FREE - ★★★★★

Romeo & Juliet, Metcalfe Gordon Productions (online) - ★★★★ - Until February 27, 2021

Barnes' People, Original Theatre Company and Perfectly Normal Productions (online) - ★★★★ - Feb 18 - Jul 31, 2021

Moment of Grace, The Actors Centre (online) - ★★★★ - Until August 9, 2020

Martha, Josie and the Chinese Elvis, Park Theatre - ★★★★★ - Until January 4, 2020

An Evening with David Bedella, The Crazy Coqs (online) - ★★★★ - January 9, 2021

Public Domain, Southwark Playhouse (online) - ★★★★ - January 19-24, 2021

The Elf Who Was Scared of Christmas, Charing Cross Theatre (online) - ★★★★ - Until January 4, 2021

The City Life Magazine | Reviews & Ratings