Frank Bowling: Middle of the Day

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Courtney J. Martin interviews painter Frank Bowling.

Bowling recalls "I was engaged with all those people, especially Newman. He turned the Mark Rothko shape on its side. You had to have permission to get past Newman. It was like a wall, so I thought you should open it up, open up the surface. My poured surfaces didn’t billow like Rothko's. Mine billowed like the kind of heat haze that you get in Guyana in the middle of the day. The sun is so hot that the water evaporates, rises and stays still: it is just there. You get a kind of heat haze that is almost impenetrable. If you go outside, you have to go out into the water. I felt those things about these pictures. I had to open it up. I thought that I could challenge geometric abstraction within the rectangle."

Bowling's Poured Paintings are on view at Tate Britain through March 1, 2013. Frank Bowling: Recent Paintings was recently on view at Spanierman Modern, New York.

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