Frank Bowling began his career at the Royal College of Art after moving from his native British Guyana to London in 1953. During his time at the RCA, he studied alongside David Hockney and Peter Blake and became involved in the British Pop Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. Aided by a Guggenheim Fellowship, Bowling moved to New York in 1966. Following a solo exhibition at the Whitney in 1971 (in the same period as shows featuring Melvin Edwards, Jack Whitten, and Alma Thomas), Bowling met influential critic Clement Greenberg, who became a regular visitor to the artist’s studio and a major influence on his practice. With Greenberg’s advice and encouragement, any lingering doubts about his commitment to Modernism were abandoned, and Bowling began to progress further toward pure abstraction, removing all recognizable imagery to focus on process, materials and color.
Bowling’s work can be found in numerous prestigious collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Tate Gallery, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others. An exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art in 2015 marked the first time in nearly 45 years that Bowling’s Map Paintings were on view since its debut at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1971.
Recent museum shows include Mappa Mundi at Haus Der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2017), a solo career retrospective at Tate, Britain (2019) and Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, an internationally acclaimed travelling group exhibition organized by Tate Modern (2017-2021).
In 2020 Frank bowling was awarded the honor of Knight Bachelor conferred upon him in the Birthday Honors List by Her Majesty The Queen. The Birthday Honors list recognizes the achievements of a wide range of extraordinary people across the United Kingdom.