Untitled Document

Big Paintings - Jim Hunter + Frank Bowling

Date: 4 February – 8 March 2008


Jim Hunter, Director of the School of Art at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, and the artist Frank Bowling, have worked together to examine the boundaries and critical discourse in the latest text+work exhibition Big Paintings.

Frank Bowling is a painter of stature and importance. His practice is committed to the primacy of the creative act of painting, the pursuit of abstraction and the ideals of modernism. This exhibition is drawn from the paintings produced in the 1980s, when he produced some of his most ambitious and large-scale paintings.

These paintings are full of personal references: to his family and friends; his experiences of life, and death; his childhood home and, his enjoyment and celebration of the senses and the sensual. Seven of these paintings will be on show here in the Gallery. Following this, the exhibition will move to the University of Wolverhampton.

Jim Hunter + Frank Bowling

Jim Hunter, Director of the School of Art, the Arts Institute at Bournemouth

Jim Hunter is a writer, lecturer and painter. Since his student days at the Royal College of Art, and time at a studio in the Cite des Arts, Paris, Jim Hunter has had an enduring interest in modernism and the potential of abstraction. In this he was always aware of the work of Frank Bowling. However, a much closer knowledge of Frank Bowling’s work, and friendship with the artist, developed from the research that Jim Hunter undertook for his public lecture on ‘Abstraction, Expression and the Paintings of Frank Bowling’ to coincide with the exhibition ‘Frank Bowling: The White Paintings’ at ArtSway in 2006.

Jim Hunter is Director of the School of Art at the Arts Institute at Bournemouth where he is also Chair of the Gallery Group. In this role he instigated the text+work concept and programme of exhibitions, each with its related critical text, and he has been responsible for 25 publications in the programme.

Frank Bowling, RA

Born in British Guyana, Bowling graduated from the Royal College of Art in 1962 with a Silver Medal in Painting and a travel scholarship which took him to South America and the Caribbean. In 1966 Bowling moved to New York where he is highly regarded; he now divides his time between studios in New York and London.

In 2005 Frank Bowling became a Royal Academician. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Arts Institute at Bournemouth and in 2007 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Wolverhampton.

Significant solo exhibitions have included the Whitney Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 1971, the Serpentine Gallery, 1986, the Philips Museum of Art, Pennsylvania, 2004, Rollo Contemporary Art, 2006, Artsway, 2006, and the New Art Club, 2007. He has been included in many major curated shows and surveys in this country, Africa, and America, including Six American Masters in 2002.

Frank Bowling is represented by ROLLO Contemporary, 51 Cleveland Street, London, WIT 4JH www.rolloart.com

These images are all details of selected paintings

Touring information

Six exhibitions were planned between January and April 2008 around the UK. Two solo shows in London (ROLLO March and Poussin Gallery April), a group exhibition (ROLLO Preview Jan 08), and an exhibition in Brighton dedicated to ending of the slave trade (Redemption Song, Feb/March) were scheduled.

The touring show Big Paintings, which is part of the text+work concept, was exhibited at The Arts Institute at Bournemouth and Wolverhampton University Art Gallery between February and April 2008 (where Bowling recently received an honorary doctorate).

The exhibition at ROLLO demonstrates that, when it comes to juxtaposing intense colours harmoniously, with both audacity and subtlety, Bowling is still very much the unrivaled living Master.

(Download PDF for full essay / text)