On June 23, 2017, Haus der Kunst opened Frank Bowling: Mappa Mundi, a comprehensive survey of monumental and mid-sized paintings by the distinguished Guyanese-born, British painter Frank Bowling.
It may be asked: Why the "Black Atlantic" now, in the discourse of the visual? How might the visual, through the insistent aesthetic, formal, and theoretical lens of art offer us a sense of the renewal and interest in Black Atlantic cultures and the cosmopolitan variants of critical practice that it has engendered? In recent times, artists ranging from Sonia Boyce, Ellen Gallagher, Isaac Julien and Steve McQueen have produced works that intervene in this diasporic critical space. Likewise, theorists such as J. Michael Dash and David Scott continue to examine questions surrounding the Antilles and the Caribbean as active sites of philosophic imagination.
The goal of this symposium is to examine the intersection of the artistic, theoretical, literary, and cultural dimensions of Bowling’s practice. Over the course of the symposium, the invited participants, ranging from artists to literary scholars, cultural theorists, and art historians, will bring into sharp focus the ways in which the "Black Atlantic" continues to inform the production of art today by a new generation of artists, in connection with Frank Bowling: Mappa Mundi.