“The Subject of Painting Is Paint”: On Frank Bowling

In a though-provoking profile of painter Frank Bowling, John-Baptiste Oduor contemplates Bowling’s “uneasy relationship to the external sources of influence on his work” given his stated interest in paint as subject. “For Bowling,” Oduor observes, “‘the subject of painting is paint.’ This might be a difficult idea to grasp, but accepting it—or at least finding it intelligible—is essential to understanding the playfulness and inventive engagement with issues of identity found in Bowling’s work.”