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Artist of the Week / Frank Bowling OBE RA

By HSoA
Team Frank

Frank has been a patron at HSoA since 2015. In 2016 we were delighted to exhibit a series of Franks paintings ‘The White Paintings’ in the HSoA Gallery, we published a beautiful catalogue of the collection which was on sale at Tate Britain bookshop during Franks extraordinary exhibition at Tate in July 2019.

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Frank’s contribution to our art school is immeasurable, his generosity in; awarding the annual Bowling Bursary, taking a keen interest in our students, lecturing, and supporting exhibitions brings a wealth of knowledge and insight to the art school. Thank you Frank.

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New Exhibition / Mapping Black Identities MIA (Minneapolis Institute of Art)

Frank continues to exhibit internationally and is currently in two mixed exhibitions in Canada and the USA. MIA’s (Minneapolis Institute of Art) recent acquisition of Frank Bowling’s painting False Start (1970), for their recent exhibition “Mapping Black Identities” challenges the notion of Black identity as monolithic. Championing the diverse experiences of artists from America, Africa, and the diaspora, this exhibition seeks to amplify under-represented voices and create connections around the concept of Blackness in contemporary art across time and place.

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Frank Bowling ‘False Start’ Mapping Black Identities 1970

Frank Bowling: Mapping the history of conquest and domination
Mapping is a colonial practice tied to painful histories of conquest and domination. Here, mapping functions as a powerful way to reclaim spaces—such as the museum—that have traditionally excluded or overlooked work by Black Artists.

Over five decades, Frank Bowling’s practice has been defined by the integration of autobiography and postcolonial geopolitics into abstraction. In "False Start," one of the artist’s celebrated Map Paintings, Bowling charts an expansive yet intimate geography. Rejecting the graphic formalism of pure abstraction, he structures these paintings around references to post-colonialism and his own Afro-Caribbean roots. The composition of False Start features prominent outlines of the continents of the Southern Hemisphere—Africa, Australia, and South America—rendered in fleshy tones of white and pink.

Relations / Diaspora and Painting Exhibition
PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art Montréal, Canada

About the exhibition

The PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art presents RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting This group show explores the complex and multiple meanings of diaspora, its condition, and its experiences as expressed through painting.

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This upcoming group show explores the complex and multiple meanings of diaspora, its condition, and its experiences as expressed through painting. "The questions and concepts of diaspora are of deep, personal interest to me as a person of colour born in Canada of mixed Asian heritage," says curator and managing director Cheryl Sim. The wide spectrum of productive interpretations and relations that are generated by experiences of diaspora remain unfixed, providing endless engagement with the notions of kinship and identity in a world of advanced globalization and migration.

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