Frank Bowling’s new book delves into his engagement with landscape painting

Frank Bowling's new book delves into his engagement with landscape painting

Hauser & Wirth Publishers’ latest publication on Frank Bowling focuses on the artist’s recent paintings that engage with the art-historical tradition of landscape painting. Richly illustrated, this volume allows readers to experience the 14 ebullient paintings on view at Hauser & Wirth West Hollywood from 26 May. The catalogue features a newly commissioned essay by art historian Dorothy Price, exploring Bowling’s art-historical influences and his approach to abstraction.

Frank Bowling: Landscape
Cover of ‘Frank Bowling: Landscape.’
Courtesy Hauser & Wirth Publishers

Born in British Guiana (now Guyana) in 1934, Frank Bowling arrived in London in 1953, where he graduated from the Royal College of Art with the silver medal for painting in 1962. After relocating to New York in 1966, Bowling continued to explore the medium of painting and started experimenting with the ideas of chance and ‘controlled accident.’ Later, he focused on more sculptural paintings which feature embedded objects and thickly textured canvases. Bowling became a Royal Academician in 2005. He was awarded the OBE for Services to Art in 2008 and a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honors in 2020.

Frank Bowling: Landscape
Portrait of Sir Frank Bowling
© Frank Bowling. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2023. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.
Photo: Sacha Bowling

The essay ‘A New Sublime’ by Dorothy Price, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art and Critical Race Art History at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, brings Bowling’s works into dialogue with Turner’s seascapes.

Examining both artists’ ‘extraordinary abilities to manipulate paint in great swathes of aqueous majesty,’ Price explores the link between Blackness and the sublime since the 18th Century and the ways in which this history is taken up in Turner’s and Bowling’s paintings.

This publication was designed by Swiss book designer Roland Brauchli, who also worked on two previous books on the artist by Hauser & Wirth Publishers: ‘Frank Bowling: London/New York’ (2021) and ‘Frank Bowling: Penumbral Light’ (2022). Brauchli’s sense for the scale and spirit of the artist’s recent work is reflected here with large details and the yellow cloth spine, a nod to the marouflage that often borders Bowling’s paintings.

The catalogue features 58 illustrations over 86 pages, including foldouts that allow readers to get close to the textures, washes and found objects on the artist’s canvases. ‘Landscape’ at Hauser & Wirth West Hollywood coincides with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) exhibition ‘Frank Bowling: The New York Years 1966-1975,’ the first major US presentation of the artist’s work in more than four decades.

Traveling from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the exhibition will be on view from 20 May through 10 September 2023 and will feature nine additional artworks, including an expanded group of paintings made between 2018 and 2022. Celebrating the 70-year anniversary of his arrival in London in May 1953, The Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Arts (CIRCA) is presenting ‘Arrival’, the first digital artwork by Frank Bowling, on view from 4 May through 30 June on London’s Piccadilly Circus curved billboard alongside screens in Berlin, Milan, Seoul, Tokyo and Los Angeles.

Frank Bowling: Landscape
Release date: 26 May 2023
Essay by Dorothy Price
Book design by Roland Brauchli
English; quarter-bound with cloth
86 pages including one gatefold and three foldouts, 58 illustrations, 248 x 287 mm
ISBN 978-3-906915-79-1
£45 / $50 / €48 / CHF 48 / HKD 400

©2023 Frank Bowling, Hauser & Wirth Publishers