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Frank Bowling: The Map Paintings 1967 - 1971

Solo show at Hales Gallery. 2013
Date: 16 September, 2013 until 23 November, 2013
Organiser: Hales Gallery

The Map Paintings 1967-1971 was Frank Bowling’s third solo exhibition at Hales Gallery, London. The artist’s map paintings had been growing in visibility over the past several years, though as referenced in this exhibition’s title, they had been executed several decades earlier, for exhibitions such as  Bowling’s solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1971.

When Rasheed Araeen included a reproduction of Night Journey, one of Bowling’s map paintings, towards the front of The Other Story catalogue, it was perhaps the first time a number of people were exposed to a fascinating body of work by Bowling. Scholarship by Kobena Mercer, Mel Gooding, and others subsequently served to embellish an understanding and appreciation of Bowling’s map paintings. (One of the most familiar works from this series, was included in the Afro Modern exhibition. The painting in question was Who’s Afraid of Barney Newman, oil paint on canvas, 2364 x 1295 x 27 mm, a painting from the Tate Collection, presented in 2006 by Rachel Scott.)

Within these paintings, Bowling made imaginative, playful, intelligent and deeply nuanced use of cartographical imagery. With his map paintings, maps became signifiers with seemingly never-ending meanings, referencing such matters as his Caribbean/Guyanese background, other diasporic and continental African narratives, and reflections on modernism and history. The paintings marked an important period of the artist’s practice, before he embarked on the first of his dedicated phases of explorations of abstraction.

The exhibition ran from 16 October - 23 November 2013, and came with a particularly handsome Private View card and catalogue.

Related items

click to show details of The Map Paintings - Frank Bowling

»  The Map Paintings - Frank Bowling

Invite relating to an exhibition, 2013

click to show details of The Map Paintings 1967-1971 Frank Bowling OBE RA

»  The Map Paintings 1967-1971 Frank Bowling OBE RA

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2015

People in this exhibition

»  Frank Bowling OBE, RA

Born, 1935 - 1937 (probably 1936) in British Guiana (now Guyana) Caribbean/S. America

Exhibition venues

»  Hales Gallery

London, United Kingdom