Born in 1934 in Bartica, British Guiana, Bowling moved to England in 1953. His first trip to the U.S. was in 1961, and by the late 1960s he was exhibiting with some of the best young black American artists of the day. While Bowling frequently moved between the metropoles of New York City and London, Skowhegan Green II is tied directly to the summer of 1984, when he was an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. As Bowling recalled, it was the first time he faced being so thoroughly enveloped by nature. “I felt the green in the Skowhegan area was so powerful a look that I just couldn’t ignore it.” The summer in Maine proved to be a pivotal one for Bowling’s artistic trajectory. Pushing the boundaries of nonrepresentational and accidental modes of abstract painting, he began experimenting with viscous acrylics and packing foam in the early 1980s.
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