Frank Bowling is a Guyana-born British artist. His paintings relate to Abstract expressionism, Colour Field painting and Lyrical Abstraction. After doing his National Service in the Royal Air Force, Bowling went on to study art, despite earlier ambitions to be a poet and a writer. He studied at the Chelsea School of Art, then in 1959 won a scholarship to London’s Royal College of Art where fellow students included artists such as David Hockney, Derek Boshier, Allen Jones, R. B. Kitaj and Peter Phillips. At graduation in 1962, Hockney was awarded the gold medal while Bowling was given the silver. Bowling had been tipped to win the gold but due to his controversial 1960 marriage to Royal College Registrar Paddy Kitchen he was relegated to silver.
Frank Bowling was elected a member of England’s Royal Academy of Arts in 2005 and is the first Black artist to be elected a Royal Academician in the history of the institution.