Sir Frank Bowling, R.A. - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Wednesday, March 6, 2019 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Spanierman Modern, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner

  • Exhibited

    New York, Spanierman Modern, Frank Bowling O.B.E., RA: Paintings 1974-2010, 14 September - 16 October 2010, no. 2 (illustrated)

  • Literature

    Mel Gooding, Frank Bowling, London, 2015, p. 144 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    'I look on the work often as my reflection in an area of water, say a river. You drop a pebble in and it distorts your reflection and then settles back into one's image of one's self. This is how the work has been going for many years, always something to do with water because this is the nature of the material.' Frank Bowling

    Frank Bowling’s Pondlife, executed in 2010, inspires a duality of perception in its viewer, a perception which oscillates between impressions of depicted natural phenomena and an appreciation of Bowling’s powers of abstraction. Pondlife is recycled from fragments of a previously abandoned work of 1972, the same year that Bowling met Clement Greenberg and began to take an interest in the objective, abstract formalism famously expounded by the critic. Beyond mere aesthetics, Bowling’s adoption of Formalism constituted a moral and political act that granted Bowling a previously unknown freedom of expression. By incorporating a fragment of an earlier piece, Bowling seems to pay nostalgic homage to the initial quest for purity of expression encapsulated in his early experimentation with Color Field theory.



signed, titled and dated 'FRANK BOWLING "PONDLIFE" 2010' on the stretcher
acrylic on canvas
145 x 129.5 cm (57 1/8 x 50 7/8 in.)
Executed in 2010.

£50,000 - 70,000 ‡♠

Sold for £112,500

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4065

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 8 March 2019