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Richard Bowman

 (1918 - 2001)
Richard Irving Bowman was active/lived in California, Illinois.  Richard Bowman is known for abstract imagery, gestural, printmaking.

Richard Bowman

Biography from the Archives of askART

Richard Irving Bowman (born 1918 Rockford, Illinois- died December 10, 2001).

Bowman was an artist at work, consequence and influence in USA, Mexico and Canada.  In his early career, Bowman made a 1945 portrait of American abstract painter, Joan Mitchell. (For a time, Mitchell was married to Canadian/French Abstract Expressionist, Jean-Paul Riopelle).  Bowman was a graduate of the University of Iowa (MFA 1949).

In August 1950, fellow University of Iowa graduate William Ashby McCloy, was appointed director of the newly formed Department of Art, University of Manitoba.  He invited fellow U of I grads: Bowman, John Kacere and Richard Gadbois to join him on teaching staff.  Along with British sculptor, Cecil Richards, they were the founding faculty of this new department.  Bowman was a resident of Winnipeg and taught at the School of Art, University of Manitoba, August 1950 through end of term spring 1954.  

While at the University of Manitoba, Bowman was active in the cultural life in the city of Winnipeg.  There, he was aquainted with Takao Tanabe, a gifted graduate (1949) of the prior Winnipeg School of Art. Tanabe's contributions have been proudly proclaimed in Canadian art history.  Tanabe recounts that after a session at the Banff School of Art, he returned in Fall 1950; wherein he took a printmaking class with Richard Bowman at University of Manitoba.  In return for Tanabe editioning a Bowman print, Tanabe received the gift of a painting by Bowman (one of the few known Bowman paintings in a Canadian Collection).  Could it also be that the print project created was "K12" 1951? Copies of this print are in the collection of the University of Manitoba.  As well, a copy was given as a gift by Tanabe to the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery, Lethbridge, AB.

In 1954, from the University of Manitoba, Bowman, McCloy and Richards shipped works to a four person exhibition, Bowman, McCloy, Richards and Cahen, May-June 1954 at the Art Gallery of Toronto (now named the Art Gallery of Ontario).  At the conclusion of the show McCloy and Bowman departed Canada and their works were forwarded, Bowman to Rockford, Illinois and McCloy to Connecticut .  

According to Iowa graduate, artist, John Will, Bowman was in residence at the Roswell Center c.1972.

Information submitted as a bulletin by Jeffrey Spalding

Biography from the Archives of askART
Richard Bowman grew up in Northern Illinois and moved to Chicago in 1938 to attend the Art Institute. After graduating in 1942 with a BFA, Bowman received the Edward L. Ryerson Traveling fellowship and traveled to Mexico where he met the British Surrealist painter, Gordon Onslow Ford in the village of Erongaricuaro, Michoacan.

Richard writes that Gordon "was the first Modern and involved painter I had ever met. With his uncanny genius, he is capable of revealing new perceptions to many individuals". The next day, Richard returned to paint the lake, the mountains and the setting sun. It was the beginning of a series that he called the "Rock and Sun".

Richard went on to receive in 1949 his Masters in Fine Arts at the University of Iowa where he studied with Mauricio Lasansky. Richard taught at the Art Institute of Chicago in the 1940's, then went with a fellow graduate of the University of Iowa to start an art program at the University of Manitoba in Canada. In the late 1950's, he and his wife Peggy moved to the Bay Area in Northern California where he continued to teach and paint.

Richard Bowman passed away on December 10, 2001.

Submitted January, 2003, by Sonja Marck, friend of the artist's family:

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About  Richard Bowman

Born:  1918 - Rockford, Illinois
Died:   2001
Known for:  abstract imagery, gestural, printmaking