Frank Bowling’s career has involved a deep engagement with different forms of writing. He has published important articles on the relationship between race and art, and he enjoyed a vital correspondence with influential critics such as Clement Greenberg. This special event sees contemporary artists and writers offer their own ‘letters’ to Bowling, reflecting on how his work has shaped their own practices.
Contributors include the artist Phoebe Boswell, the artist and curator Marlene Smith, and the critics Matthew Collings and Rianna Jade Parker. The discussion will be chaired by Richard Martin, Curator of Public Programmes at Tate.
This event has been provided by Tate Foundation on behalf of Tate Enterprises LTD.
Marlene Smith is an artist who curates. She works with artist Lubaina Himid and curator Christine Eyene at the research centre and archive: Making Histories Visible based at the University of Central Lancashire where she is also a PhD Candidate researching the exhibition practice of women during the UK Black Arts Movement. She became an Associate Artist at Modern Art Oxford in 2018. She was UK Research Manager for the AHRC funded Black Artists and Modernism research project based at the University of the Arts, London 2015–17. In 2011 she formed the Blk Art Group Research Project with Claudette Johnson and Keith Piper and convened the 2012 Reframing The Moment Conference at the University Of Wolverhampton. She was a NESTA International Leaders Fellow spending six months in Shanghai 2009. She has been Director of WEMAS in Birmingham and The Black Art Gallery London, worked at the African and Asian Visual Artists’ Archive at the University of East London and led The Public Gallery, part of a £multimillion regeneration project in West Bromwich. She joined The Blk Art Group in 1982 and exhibited widely throughout the 1980s. Her 1987 work, Art History was purchased for the collection of Sheffield Museums in 2016.
Matthew Collings is a British painter and writer. He is married to Emma Biggs, with whom he collaborates on artworks. Born in London in 1955, Collings studied at Byam Shaw School of Art, and Goldsmith's College.
Phoebe Boswell (b. 1982, Nairobi) is an artist who lives and works in London. Boswell studied at the Slade School of Art and Central St Martins. She is currently the Bridget Riley Drawing Fellow at the British School at Rome, a Ford Foundation Fellow, and is represented in the United States by Sapar Contemporary, New York. Her work has been widely exhibited; with galleries including Kristin Hjellegjerde, Carroll / Fletcher, and Tiwani Contemporary; at art fairs Art15, 1:54, and Expo Chicago; and she has screened at Sundance, the London Film Festival, LA Film Festival, Blackstar, Underwire, British Animation Awards, and CinemAfrica amongst others. She participated in the Gothenburg International Biennial of Contemporary Art 2015, the Biennial of Moving Images 2016 at the Centre d'Art Contemporain in Geneva, and received the Future Generation Art Prize's Special Prize in 2017. Recent solo presentations include The Space Between Things at Autograph in London and Here at Göteborgs Konsthall in Sweden.
Rianna Jade Parker
Rianna Jade Parker is a writer, critic and researcher based in London, UK. She is a founding member of interdisciplinary collective Thick/er Black Lines and is a Contributing Editor of frieze magazine.