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Matthew Collings

Born, 1955

“Matthew Collings is widely recognised as one of the leading writers and broadcasters on the visual arts in the UK. He has published several popular and high profile books such as “Art Crazy Nation” and is a contributor to Modern Painters magazine. He has presented the Turner Prize on Channel Four as well as his own series “This is Modern Art” and more recently “The Me Generation”, a series about artists self-portraits. He is currently working on a  critical remake of “Civilisation” to be shown next year. He is a painter himself and was taught by Frank Bowling RA while at Byam Shaw School of Art, Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in the 1970s.”

The above biographical sketch, from 2006, appeared in the joint catalogue for two related exhibitions by Frank Bowling. The White Paintings, by Frank Bowling, RA, 13 May - 2 July 2006, ArtSway, Hampshire and Frank Bowling, Latest Paintings: A Celebration of His Election to the Royal Academy of Arts, at Rollo Contemporary Art, London, 9 March - 13 April 2006.

The catalogue contained a text titled SEE HOW THEY WORK: FRANK BOWLING’S PAINTINGS | Matthew Collings Conversation with Frank Bowling, RA, January 2006.

This, the catalogue’s main text, is a ‘conversation’ betwwen Frank Bowling and Matthew Collings. It is though, something of a curious affair, in that Collings speaks of Bowling in a detached way, as if lecturing about him. For example “I think he must find Turner an inspiration.” Bowling’s ‘answers’ or ‘responses’ are, in contrast, very much personal: “When [Bowling’s son] Dan died I felt utterly at a loss.”

Related items

click to show details of Frank Bowling RA

»  Frank Bowling RA

Catalogue relating to an exhibition, 2006