Sir Frank Bowling OBE, RA: Benjamin Run
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Benjamin Run, 2020
Edition of 40 (plus artist and school proofs)
Initialed by the artist
Dimensions: 76 x 49.5 cm
Print is unframed
‘If you look carefully, in the middle of the work there are six circles of paint. On Sir Frank’s instruction, his son Benjamin tipped over a children’s strip of small paint pots, and the circles of paint on the work represent the primary colours – which can be mixed to create many other colours – plus green, white and black. For Sir Frank, the possibilities of paint are endless, and the unpredictable behaviour of paint is exciting. Even with six small pots of paint, many interesting shapes and colours have emerged.’ Text provided by Sir Frank Bowling's Studio, 2020
Launched in 2018 by The Hepworth Wakefield, School Prints is an ambitious five-year project to engage every primary school child in Wakefield District with contemporary art. Each year, the participating schools are gifted a set of limited-edition prints by leading contemporary artists for display in school and are supported with an in-depth engagement programme led by local artists to encourage creativity across the curriculum.
Nicola Freeman, Director of Engagement & Learning at The Hepworth Wakefield, said: “The prominence and urgency of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020 has brought into sharp focus the lack of diversity across the arts and museum sector. As part of a number of initiatives to address this in all areas of our work at The Hepworth Wakefield, we are reshaping our Continuing Professional Development programmes for teachers and all future work with schools to support the teaching of black histories across the curriculum, starting by making this campaign the focus of School Prints 2021. We are delighted that this project is supported by such fantastic artists who have so generously given their time and creativity to help us in this endeavour.”
School Prints is inspired by a ground-breaking scheme set up in the 1940s where artists, including Henri Matisse, Henry Moore and Pablo Picasso, were commissioned to create prints specifically for schools to allow children to have direct access to high-quality art. Artists who have taken part in The Hepworth Wakefield’s revival of the scheme include Fiona Banner, Sir Peter Blake, Sir Michael Craig-Martin, Martin Creed, Jeremy Deller, Anthea Hamilton, Helen Marten, Haroon Mirza, Laure Prouvost, Linder Sterling, Francis Upritchard, Richard Wentworth and Rose Wylie.
School Prints is supported by Eridge Trust and The Curwen Studios.
Sir Frank Bowling OBE, RA (b. 1934, Bartica, Essequibo, British Guiana; lives and works in London)
Sir Frank Bowling OBE, RA is driven by his fascination with pushing the vast and radiant possibilities of paint. His experiments with ammonia, gel, metallic and pearlescent paint create incandescent reactions on the canvas. Bowling has experimented with ideas of chance and ‘controlled accidents’, pouring paint from a two-metre height to create his visually arresting ‘Poured Paintings’. Later sculptural paintings included embedded objects and thickly textured canvases, evoking landscape, riverbeds and geologic strata. Visible in his work are legacies of both the English landscape tradition and American abstraction. His recent work encompasses collage, poured paint, stencilling, staining, and stitching canvases, bringing together techniques honed over a lifetime of painting. His critical writings represent a significant contribution to intellectual debates on ‘black art’.
Recent solo exhibitions include the 2017–19 touring exhibition, Mappa Mundi, and a retrospective at Tate Britain in 2019. Sir Frank Bowling OBE, RA became a Royal Academician in 2005 and was awarded the OBE for services to Art in 2008 and a knighthood in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2020.
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