Frank Bowling Wins Museum Ludwig’s Wolfgang Hahn Prize

Frank Bowling is the 2022 winner of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize, which is administered annually by the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. In recognition of the Guyanese-British artist’s innovative approach to painting, the institution will soon add his painting Flogging the Dead Donkey (2020) to its holdings. The acquisition marks the first of Bowling’s works to enter a public collection in Germany.

Bowling will be presented with an award at the museum on November 15, which coincides with the opening of an exhibition of his work. The prize comes with a maximum sum of €100,000 ($116,000), though the amount Bowling would receive was not specified by the museum.

Zoé Whitley, director of the Chisenhale Gallery in London and a juror for the prize, said in a statement, “It is no exaggeration to say that Frank Bowling’s paintings and critical writings have redefined the possibilities of painting. It pays tribute to a determined and uniquely inventive personality in the history of abstract painting.”

Over six decades, Bowling, 87, has created a visual vocabulary defined by monochromatic fields of colors. His paintings borrow from American abstraction and the British landscape tradition to tell personal narratives and global histories. The title Flogging the Dead Donkey, for example, is an ironic commentary by Bowling on the relentless efforts of contemporary artists to reinvent monochrome painting, as if in doing so, they were whipping a dead donkey. Coursing through much of his work is an interest in colonialism and global diasporas.

Yilmaz Dziewior, director of the Museum Ludwig, said in a statement that in Bowling’s work, “the spirit of American color field painting as well as British abstraction combine to form an incomparable, very independent position.”

Bowling’s work is held by numerous museums, and he has exhibited extensively since the 1970s. Recent surveys by Tate Britain in London, the Haus der Kunst in Munich, the Irish Museum of Modern Art in Dublin, and the Sharjah Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates have significantly bolstered Bowling’s reputation.

Share This Post:

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

On Key

Related Posts

How Auctions Identify the Next Big Artists and Trends

Phillips’s 20th-century & contemporary art auction, 2017. Courtesy of Phillips. Auctions prophesize the rise of art stars and identify trends in the contemporary scene through financial returns. While many spectators cast their attention toward biennials as harbingers of what is to come in the art world, auctions reflect these changes more quickly and concretely than

Cindy Sherman

More than forty years ago, Cindy Sherman debuted “Cindy Sherman,” the polymorphous persona that, since then, has been the artist’s primary subject: a reflection not only of herself, but also of mass

Scroll to Top

ARE YOU IN?

Yes! Sign me up for AFYC's weekly newsletter featuring valuable info for artists, nonprofits, upcoming contests, and our new product offerings.

Count Me In!