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Report from the Front

Art criticism, sometimes with context, occasional politics. Published in hard copy 2-4 times a year. New shows: "events;" hard copy rates & how to support the online edition: "works."

 

SIR FRANK BOWLING AT HAUSER & WIRTH (LONDON)

Frank Bowling (b.1934), Flogging the Dead Donkey, 2020. Acrylic and acrylic gel on canvas with marouflage, 102.5 x 185.5 x 5 cm.(40 3/8 x 73 x 2 in). (c)Frank Bowling, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, Photo Thomas Barratt

 

The last time this column looked at the art of Frank Bowling, this prodigious painter, was on June 29, 2019, when David Evison, the British sculptor, reviewed his memorable retrospective at Tate/Britain.  Since that time, Queen Elizabeth has knighted him, and as "Sir Frank" he has graduated from the relative obscurity of the Hales gallery to the big leagues of Hauser & Wirth.  

 

His new gallery is honoring him with two shows -- both titled "Frank Bowling – London/New York."  The London one is at its Savile Row space and closes on July 31, while the New York one is at its Chelsea space and closes on July 30.

 

I only review shows that I can see, so I must confine my remarks to the New York show. However, I am delighted to be able to welcome to this website a review of Bowling's London show by Evison..

 

Herewith is the report from Evison on the London show of Bowling:

 

"Hauser & Wirth is situated on the ground floor of a new Savile Row building and has direct access from the street.  On entering, one is confronted by a 9 ft. x 6 ft. painting and the desk is situated to the right of it.  Hung high above it is a medium sized painting which is a masterpiece.  It is called, "Flogging the Dead Donkey." Read More 

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SIR FRANK BOWLING AT HAUSER & WIRTH (CHELSEA)

"Frank Bowling: London/New York," Hauser & Wirth New York 22nd Street, 2021 (c)Frank Bowling, Photo:Thomas Barratt. "Texas Louise" at right.

Herewith my own review of Bowling's New York show -- which I seem to have liked less than Evison liked the London show --at least until I started to take it picture by picture.

 

I started out feeling that this  was not my favorite Bowling show.  The man's a great painter, but his work in this case has been "edited" in a way that makes him appear less rather than more great. At any rate, that's my opinion, though admittedly it's only an opinion and I'm sure I'm in the minority (as usual).  Read More 

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EVISON ON BOWLING AT TATE BRITAIN

Frank Bowling
Tate Britain, 31 May – 26 August 2019

Ziff 1974. Acrylic paint on canvas. 2010 x 1460 mm.Private collection, London. Courtesy of Jessica McCormack. © Frank Bowling. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2019

 

FMD is indeed fortunate to have a review of "Frank Bowling," the massive retrospective at Tate Britain (through August 26).  It was written by David Evison, the British sculptor, whose most recent exhibition has just closed in Beijing. Read More 

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AT ALEXANDER GRAY: FRANK BOWLING

Frank Bowling, Elder Sun Benjamin, 2018. Acrylic and mixed media on collaged canvas, 119.29h x 203.54w in. (303h x 517w cm.) Courtesy Alexander Gray Associates, New York; Hales Gallery, London. © 2018 Frank Bowling.
With a birthdate of February 26, 1934, Guyana-born, London-based Frank Bowling finds it harder to get around than it used to be, but he still made it to the opening of “Frank Bowling: Make It New” at Alexander Gray Associates (through October 13). And all his American fans (including myself) were very glad to see him.  Read More 
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SECOND, THE OCTOGENARIAN: BOWLING

Frank Bowling, Metropolitanblooms, 1982. Acrylic on canvas, 35 1/8 x 26 5/8 inches. Courtesy Hales Project Room.
Having arrived on this planet the year before Poons did, Frank Bowling is now comfortably ensconced among the ranks of the octogenarians. He too continues to paint away as busily as ever in his London studio, but for its inaugural exhibition, the pocket-sized Hales Project Room on Delancey Street opted to offer to American viewers six modestly scaled Bowling acrylics on canvas executed in the late 70s and early 80s, when the artist was working a London studio measuring just 12 x 14 feet.

The show as a whole is called “Frank Bowling: Metropolitanbloooms” (through October 15). Read More 
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L’ANGLETERRE, I LOVE YOU

Thanks to a deeply-discounted plane ticket that I was fortunate enough to obtain, I recently spent a blissful week in what (at this moment) may be my favorite country, England. As I had only three days in London, one in Oxford and one in Worcestershire, I planned my stay in advance detail comparable to limning angels on a pin’s head. To my delight, nearly everything went off like clockwork.  Read More 
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WHAT OUR GALLERISTS HAVE BEEN UP TO

Yunhee Min, Movements (swell 1), 2015. Acrylic on linen, 45 x 45 inches (114.3 x 114.3 cm). (AMY28111). Courtesy Ameringer | McEnery | Yohe & the artist.
Our enterprising gallerists have more than one way to promote the artists they believe in. Here's a rundown of a slew of displays of work during this past winter and spring that I’ve found worth prospecting. Read More 
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BOWLING AT SPANIERMAN: STILL GOING STRONG

Frank Bowling (b. 1936). "Foroseabouquet." 2013. Acrylic on canvas, 35 x 70 inches Courtesy Spanierman Modern
Despite the fact that Frank Bowling is now 78, and subject to the sorts of frailty that many & maybe most seniors fall heir to, he is still going strong. This could be seen at his latest show, “Frank Bowling, O.B. E., RA, at Eighty,” at Spanierman Modern (run extended through June 12).  Read More 
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4 DEFINITE PLUSSES

Susan Roth (b. 1950). Sun Kissed, 1983. Acrylic on handmade paper, 22 x 30 inches. Courtesy of David Mirvish. Photo courtesy of Freedman Art.
Not all the Manhattan gallery shows worthy of discussion are in Chelsea, SoHo or the Lower East Side. There are still hardy survivors in midtown and on the Upper East Side, and four exhibitions in particular have provided enjoyment for me as winter—at long last—is giving way to spring. Three of them  Read More 
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2 Sculptors, 5 Painters

David Evison. M-2. 2010. Steel and copper, 40 in. high. Courtesy Galleri Heike Arndt
SCULPTURE: MANHATTAN

One of the most enjoyable shows on view in Manhattan at the moment is “William Tucker: Present and Past” at McKee (through October 13). The literature from the gallery emphasizes “Day” (2012), an 8-foot high, semi-abstract, terracotta-colored plaster horse’s head (destined, the artist hopes, to be cast in bronze). Pictured on the  Read More 
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