Influences / intersections / resemblances : Milton Avery, Alex Katz, Modigliani, Tretchikoff, Alice Neel, Kerry James Marshall, Hans Scharer, Emil Nolde, Sidney Nolan, Pablo Picasso, Chris Ofili, Portia Zhavhahera, Moffat Takadiwa, Wycliffe Mundopa, Fang sculptors, Benin bronzes, Cecil Skotnes, Naum Gabo, Lynn Chadwick/Geometry of Fear, Huma Bhabha, Julie Mehretu, John Mawurndjul, Dorothy Napangardi, Papunya Tula artists,

With these works I hope to preserve for our disenchanted and rational world the 'solemn' quality Frederich Nietzsche discerned in African art, its magic and incantatory power. Combining the vibrational colour-field kinesis of indigenous Australian painting with the concise reductive rigour of Arabic grammar and the formal nature of traditional African mask-making, these multi-layered paintings evanesce, hover and tremble just a stop or two before total abstraction

In a working method analogous to that of the novelist I invite my subjects/models into the life room and make initial pencil sketches and photographs. Then through the medium of oil paint these primary depictions are worked and shifted into semi ficticous portrait characters.The displaced isolation of these individuals yet to be 'written' into an unrealised narrative thus inviting the viewer to create their own.

Richard Butler Bowdon b. Cape Town, S. Africa. Lives and works in Melbourne Australia and London UK.

The works on this website were exhibited at :

  • 2011 : First Floor Gallery Harare, Harare, ZIMBABWE.
  • 2012 : Substation, Newport, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA.
  • 2012 : Mere Coincidence Project Space, Bow, London E3, UK.
  • 2013 : Frieze week 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London UK (First Floor Gallery Harare).
  • 2014 : Frieze week 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, London UK.
  • 2014 : Joburg Contemporary Art Fair, SOUTH AFRICA (First Floor Gallery Harare).
  • 2015 : Cape Town Art Fair, SOUTH AFRICA (First Floor Gallery Harare).

  • Gustave Moreau : 'art is the relentless pursuit of the expression of inward feeling by means of simple plasticity'. Pablo Picasso : 'painting is always stronger than you are ...' John Graham : 'African artists were never seduced by the desire to imitate,or compete with nature, as they had, more than a thousand years before, travelled the long road to abstraction - a journey which ourselves are just ending. Steeped in their ancient tradition, the African sculptors produced works in their spiritual severity, to Gothic sculpture ...' Man Ray : 'There is no progress in art, any more than there is progress in making love. There are simply different ways of doing it ... '