Night Journey

Frank Bowling British

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 915

Night Journey belongs to Bowling’s Map series, a group of mostly abstract paintings composed of broad fields of color into which the artist placed the continents of Australia, South America, and Africa. Here, the barely discernible shapes of South America, in red at center left, and Africa, in blue and pink at center right, hover in a luminous but moody composition, which he created primarily by pouring various layers of diluted paint onto his canvas while adeptly controlling the final staining effect. The yellow area evokes the Atlantic Ocean and, more significantly for Bowling, the Middle Passage, the forced sea journey endured by enslaved people taken from West Africa to the Americas and West Indies.

Night Journey, Frank Bowling (British, born Bartica, Guyana 1934), Acrylic on canvas

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