In the early 1980s Frank Bowling began to incorporate objects into his work, adding to the rich and tactile textures he had begun to explore on his canvasses with metallic pigments, glitter, shells, souvenirs and everyday objects. This began when Bowling found a set of his partner’s long-lost car keys adhered to the painting’s surface, having fallen into a bucket of gel he was using. Towards Crab Island
uses objects in this way, alongside blues, pinks and green evocative of a soft seascape. Bowling has said that he names his works after they are finished, attempting to capture what he thinks happened during the work.
Towards Crab Island
Date of work
Original: Acrylic paint, Original: Acrylic gel, Original: Acrylic foam and other materials on canvas 175.3 x 289.6 cm Sheldon Inwentash and Lynn Factor, Toronto
Frank Bowling (born 1934) moved to Britain in his late teens from Guyana, and studied painting at the Royal College of Art alongside David Hockney, R.B. Kitaj and Derek Boshier, graduating in 1962 with the Silver Medal in painting. Bowling’s work combines figuration, abstract elements, contemporary and autobiographical references with intense experimentation and exploration of the possibilities of paint. He was elected as a member of the Royal Academy of Arts in 2005, and awarded an OBE in 2008. He continues to work in his studios in New York and London.