Night Journey,

Frank Bowling British

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.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 925

Public Domain

Night Journey

Artist: Frank Bowling (British, born Guyana 1936)

Date: 1969–70

Medium: Acrylic on canvas

Dimensions: H. 83 3/4 x W. 72 1/8 in. (212.7 x 183.2 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Maddy and Larry Mohr, 2011

Accession Number: 2011.590.2

Rights and Reproduction: © 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Inscription: Signed and dated (verso): FRANK bowling / 1969 / 70
the artist, New York and London (sold to Mohr); Larry and Maddy Mohr, New York (until 2011; their gift to MMA)

New York. Brooklyn Museum. "Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties," March 7–July 6, 2014, unnumbered cat. (p. 24).

Hanover, N. H. Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College. "Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties," August 30–December 21, 2014, unnumbered cat.

Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin. "Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties," February 8–May 10, 2015, unnumbered cat.

Richard J. Powell. Black Art and Culture in the 20th Century. New York, 1997, p. 138, colorpl. 92.

Mel Gooding. Frank Bowling. London, 2011, pp. 66–67, ill. (color).

Kellie Jones in Witness: Art and Civil Rights in the Sixties. Exh. cat., Brooklyn Museum. New York, 2014, p. 22, fig. 12 (color).