Frank Bowling in his London Studio, 2017. Copyright James Proctor.


For over five decades, Frank Bowling has incorporated both autobiography and postcolonial geopolitics into his work. Beginning his career as a figurative painter, he later created works of complex geometric forms and then changed his focus to abstract and colour field painting. He is particularly known for his large-scale works.

Recent solo exhibitions of his work include Mappa Mundi, Haus der Kunst, Munich (in collaboration with IMMA, Irish Museum of Modern Art and Sharjah Art Foundation) (2017); Frank Bowling, The Arts Club, London (2017); Frank Bowling: New White Paintings, Hampstead School of Art, London (2016); Traingone: Paintings by Frank Bowling 1979-96, Spiritmuseum, Stockholm (2015); Map Paintings, Dallas Museum of Art, US (2015) and Frank Bowling: Poured Paintings, Tate Modern, London (2012).

His work has also been presented in group exhibitions at institutions such as the Tate Modern, London (2017); Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, US (2015); Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin (2014); Brooklyn Museum, New York (2014); De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, UK (2014); Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London (2013–2014) and Tate Britain, London (2013).

Bowling’s works are part of the permanent collections of the Arts Council of Great Britain; Crawford Municipal Art Gallery, Cork, Ireland; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Rhode Island School of Design, Providence; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Royal College of Art, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; National Museum of Wales, Cardiff and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.

He was awarded the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 2008 and was the first Black British artist to be elected as a Royal Academician in 2005. From 1959 to 1962, he studied at the Royal College of Art, London and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.

Born in 1934 in Bartica, Guyana, he now lives and works between New York and London.

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Bowling, Frank

Frank Bowling:  Mappa Mundi

Frank Bowling: Mappa Mundi [Map of the World] presents an overview of major developments in Bowling’s practice, exploring the artist’s engagement with history, migration, memory and representation across a six-decade career.