Denis Bowen was born in Kimberley, South Africa in 1921 to Welsh and English parentage. After studying painting at the Royal College of Art from 1940, he taught at various art schools in Britain. During this time he was also exhibiting in major national and international shows and contributing to art publications at home and abroad. The Royal Cambrian Academy elected Bowen as a member in 1954. Bowen was one of the first ‘Tachiste’ painters in Britain; developing the influences of the Ecole de Paris, the Futurists, Kandinsky, Max Ernst and his obsession for space discovery, into his own abstract style. In 1952, with other artist members of the Institute of Contemporary Art, Bowen founded the Free Painters and Sculptors Group. Always at the centre of new ideas and techniques and impatient with the constraints of existing galleries, Bowen and his colleagues, opened the New Vision Centre Gallery in 1955; the first gallery devoted to abstract art. In 1984, with artists, John Bellany and Derek Culley, Bowen founded the ‘Celtic Vision’ representing contemporary artists from the Celtic regions of Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany and Galicia in northwest Spain. ‘Celtic Vision’ was received first in Madrid in 1986 before touring the Celtic regions concluding in Dublin in 1988. More recently, in 1997, Bowen exhibited at the Diorama Art Gallery, London with Nino Spallone, Pindaros Michaeldes and Stephen Court, in a celebration of “COSMOPOLIS – Artists of the School of London” exhibition held at the Whitworth Gallery, University of Manchester in 1964. Denis Bowen died aged 85 on 23rd March 2006 in London.
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