Frank Bowling RA OBE’s painting ‘Cover Girl’ flanked by sons Ben and Sacha
This double portrait was created for the Lots Road Group’s exhibition, ‘Connected: the changing face of Britain’. The Lots Road Group exhibits regularly on a theme to explain aspects of portraiture This portrait aimed to capture the zeitgeist, explaining, in the divisive times of Brexit, how the artist is connected to one of the sitters - Ben (seated left). Ben and Sacha (seated right) are the sons of sons of abstract expressionist Frank Bowling OBE RA, knighted in 2020, whose 1960s painting ‘Cover Girl’ is flanked by them. They are starting to hep their father to manage his formidable body of work held worldwide.
Ben says: “Cover Girl’ is one of dad’s 60s pop-art painting that points to his future abstract work. Above the female figure is a stencilled image of Bowling’s Variety Store, Frank’s childhood home in New Amsterdam, British Guiana. The painting connects we two brothers, born in the 1969s, with our father, his art and autobiographical references that are part of our heritage.”
On graduating with a silver medal in painting from the Royal College in 1962, Frank Bowling left London for New York, fleeing attempts to pigeon-hole and exclude him from the mainstream of British art. After years of transatlantic commuting he settled in London where, in his eighties, he still paints every day. Last August he had a retrospective at Tate Britain which established Frank as one of today’s most brilliant abstract expressionist painters and illustrates how Britain has changed in the last half century.
The Lots Road Group exhibition catalogue explains my own connection with my sitters and Frank. The Changing Face of Britain by the Lots Road Group
Oil on canvas
Framed: 104 x 84 x 5cm (33.07 x 40.94 inches).
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